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If the families agree to the terms, they read the first chapter of the Koran (the sacred text of Islam) together and set an engagement date.The engagement party is an occasion for festive celebration.Some Egyptians also believe in the "evil eye," a kind of curse, and take measures to prevent being harmed by it.About 90 percent of Egyptians are Sunni Muslims (followers of a branch of Islam), about 8 percent are Coptic Christians, and about 2 percent are other Christian denominations. Egypt commemorates secular (non-religious) holidays and Muslim religious holidays.

Common boys' names are Ramadan and Shaban, which are also the names of Islamic months. Common girls' names are Layla, Suad, Nagla, Fatima, and Huwaida.

According to legend, on the twenty-sixth day of the Islamic month of Rajab, the Prophet Muhammad traveled at night from Mecca (a city in what is now Saudi Arabia) to Jerusalem.

From Jerusalem, he rode his wondrous horse, al-Burak, on a nighttime visit to heaven.

Secular holidays include New Year's Day (January 1); Mother's Day (March 31); Sinai Liberation Day (April 25); Labor Day (May 1); Evacuation Day, commemorating the departure of the British (June 18); Revolution Day (July 23); National Day (October 6); and Victory Day (December 23).

Egyptian boys are circumcised, usually at birth, but sometimes later in the child's life. The baby's first week of life is commemorated on the seventh day with a celebration called the subu.

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