Egyptians are a boisterous, pragmatic people with a sharp sense of humor used to shrug off the hardships of life. Traditional culture and religion still play a prominent role in society, and close-knit family ties are at the heart of daily life. Although conservative in values, you'll find Egyptians anything but insular. This is a nation that adores having fun and any excuse is used for a celebration. Not known for being stand-offish, and rightly proud of their history, a booming ahlan wa sahlan ("Hello and welcome!") followed by invitations for tea and a chat are extended to all visitors. Accept those on-the-spot offers and you'll experience warm and effervescent Egyptian hospitality at its best.