This is a true story as told by a conservative American Family from a small town in the Midwest. The Johnson (not their real surname) in the early 90s decided to visit Egypt. It was their first visit to the Middles East. The Johnson family was of the father, the mother and their two children.
Due to the long trip and because they reached their hotel in Cairo late at night they decided to have dinner in the hotel and sleep afterward. The next morning, all the four family members were so happy and excited of what they are going to see and experience; the pyramids, the desert, the camels, the souk, and the new faces and culture of course. The parents thought it will be the journey of the lifetime for them and for their two children. Before even anyone go to freshen up the mother opened the curtain so they all can take a glimpse of what they are going to explore specially after hearing the loud sound of people and cars’ horns. The family stepped out onto the balcony which has a view of the downtown.
After couple of minutes of excitement, Mom and Dad weren’t as happy as their kids. They saw something they could never imagine it could happen in a conservative Muslim country, at least not in public and that excessive. Both parents were in shock, they asked the kids to go inside to freshen up so they can go to eat their breakfast. They just wanted to distract their kids while they think what they are going to do. Closing the curtain was the first thing the mother thought of.
The Johnson spent almost two days inside the hotel not going anywhere until another tourist explained to them that the public display of affection among men and among women should not be interpreted as homosexuality rather it is a culture thing. It is culturally accepted for men to walk hand in hand and kiss each others on the cheek in public and it is the same for women.
Upon understanding this weird culture habit the Johnson family was ready to enjoy the magnificent Cairo and they did.
And for this unexplained culture behavior, rarely you see Arab men kiss on the cheek in America and almost never on the streets. Instead, hugging is used as the preferred method of showing affection. Also, at no time you can see two heterosexual Arab men walking hand in hand on the downtowns or beaches of the USA because they know how this behavior is interpreted here.