Akshar should address this question as she is an expert on the subject now. She is a British woman living on the west bank.
In general, my view would be that they are very different. The west bank is more filled with farmers and is known, in Egypt, as being more "balady" (meaning country), while the east bank is more town.
To say that one is wealthier than the other would be difficult. Farmers can certainly have lots of money here, and there is all sorts of tourism on the west bank to put money in the pockets of anyone clever and hard working.
the reason why i ask this is that i went to a private house on the east bank, off the egyptian market street, and i was really.. surprised.. in a negative way.. the house was falling apart, it was very humid, there was garbage everywhere, it smelled like piss..
i went to a couple of other houses, on the west bank, and they were if not luxurious, but very nice and clean!! i'm sure there's everything, too.. and maybe one cannot generalize here either.. i just thought that MAYBE there is a clear separation - wealthy area and non-wealthy..
Well i can say that on the Eastbank...this is where Luxor is and there is the money as well too... But the West Bank is growing and therefore there are many nice apartments there....
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The majority of the employment and opportunities are on the East Bank so in a sense it is wealthier. However many of the people are not from the area but from Cairo or Alex so there isn't the same amount of family structure.
On the West Bank the same families have been living in the same houses for generations and probably there are more women folk available to clean. In a sense I would say it is richer because of its sense of community and family but certainly not in monetary terms.
But with all these things we are generalising and there will be exceptions in both places
Well, Debbie has been to my humble abode on the East Bank.......not exactly as you describe your experience Warda! It is much better than any of my homes previously in the UK, As in any city in the world you have the "tracks" which seperate the town. The West Bank is not Luxor really it is Thebes. There are parts of the West Bank that are lovely and parts that are outright squalid. Just the same in Luxor city. I am fortunate as my family has properties on both banks AND a farm further south near the bridge, I love each area for it's special charm. In Luxor city you will find more Egyptians working with the tourists who have a higher standard of education. The private schools and the colleges of further education are almost all on the east bank. The five star hotels are on the east bank, The agencies who offer tours with qualified guides.... the qualification is difficult and long not to be confused with the guides who ae untrained. Most of the Banks are on the East bank lol. The area where I work/live is near the International hospital in Luxor city. The larger supermarkets are in this area, car showrooms, offices of agencies, accountants lawyers, professional people. The west bank was traditionaly rural, there are no big landowners in Egypt since Nasser's land reforms. The country or balady people, are in general the salt of the earth. Uncomplicated, but not stupid, they live a low profile life that is fairly uneventful, but their system has worked well for them and their ancestors for thousands of years. Over the antiquities in Thebes communites grew up peopled largely by grave robbers. There was no considered value to the contents of the grave, except gold. This is not surprising when you see people flocking to the coutryside in europe with their metal detectors, and they are supposed to be enlightened. These enterprising West Bankers raised their families and toiled ever further into the hills in their "prospecting" efforts. When the gold ran short they became more deprived than the rural or balady people, until ancient artifacts became valued by affluent foreigners. Then the West Bankers were back in business. They didn't make the same fortunes as the chaps who bought from them, but in local terms they were rich indeed. Ethics raised it's ugly head then......these lumps of stone had suddenly become their "heritage". What goes around comes around, again! Now these good folk didn't even have the simple land to fall back on. Facilities like water supply and power are poor intentionally, in order to encourage them to move from their traditional communities over the Antiquities. So many of them have gained a reputation of living by their wits in order to survive. this has led to claims of all sorts ....... non West Bankers will say that you can get anything your heart desires on the West Bank. There is certainly much more alcohol drunk. It is much more easy going than the East Bank, which some new inhabitants may find restictive, if they want to chill out with some friends, plenty of alcohol and premarital sex. It would be difficult in Luxor. Especially in the more conformist areas for Egyptians it would be imposible. Oh......how I love Egypt.
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