If we re-examine Egypt's past 100 years, it's easy to say with certainty that a century is enough time to change the unchangeable.

Without a doubt, Egypt in the early 1900s was a completely different place than it is today.

Back then, the country was once known to be the most populous Arab nation in the MENA region and a promising hub of power and culture.

Historically, women enjoyed more freedoms than other Arab and Muslim countries in the region.

Due to the rapid change that occurred in such a short space of time, today, older Egyptians have forgotten the country that used to be.

As for the younger generation, many are unaware of the changes that have shaped their modern society. 

There is unquestionably a lot to miss about the Egypt of the past. 

Here is a glimpse of it:

1. It was all about elegance and formality

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Highschool Egyptian teachers Source: Facebook/Egyptts

This was applicable to both elite and working-class Egyptians. People would dress smartly, be it for everyday life or special occasions.

2. Even kids looked classier than most adults in 2017

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Fashion for Egyptian kids back then Source: Facebook/masrzaman202

The fact that we often see old photographs of exceptionally well-dressed children is simply because there was no mass production of clothes the way we see today. 

This meant Egyptians, even those who were financially less fortunate, would have fitted clothes made for each person regardless of the materials' quality. 

Naturally, parents made sure their kids looked good, especially for photos. 

3. Having fun was simple

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Kids playing in the streets of Egypt with glass marbles Source: Facebook/masrzaman202

Be it little glass marbles or kora sharab  (a ball made of old socks), kids knew how to have fun without spending all of their parents' money.

With this new generation of tech-savvy youngsters, It's tablets, gaming consoles, and phones or bust.

4. Egypt was once the Hollywood of the Middle East

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Ismail Yassine (left) in the movie Al Ostool Source: Youtube

Egypt was one of the biggest exporters of films in the region and a powerful source of popular culture to the Arab world.

Sadly enough, there has been a dramatic decline in the quality of Egyptian films in the past 20 years, leading to movies being produced based on a standard of commercial quality with a lack of substantive content.

5. Egyptian music flourished and shook the world

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Umm Kulthum at one of her concerts in Paris, France Source: Youm7

The Egyptian music industry flourished with renowned poets, musicians, and singers.

When Umm Kulthum hosted concerts, one could see people gathering around radios in coffee shops to listen to her hour-long performances.

When the acclaimed singer - amicably referred to as The Star of The Orient - died in 1975, a wave of mourning rippled across Egypt and the Arab World.

Until this day, decades after her death, her timeless songs are still played and loved by many.

6. Cairo was a cosmopolitan city foreigners loved exploring

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Vintage photo of Tahrir square in the 1960s Source: Pinterest

Those who know and are accustomed to modern-day Cairo would never believe the transformation it went through from the 1920s to the present day. 

Cairo went from palaces, clean and quiet streets, to a busy city that screams underdevelopment.

7. Jews, Muslims, and Christians lived together in peace as neighbors

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Egyptian Alexandria Jewish girls during Bat Mitzva Source: tabletmag

Egypt was once a melting pot, hardly afflicted by sectarian and ethnic bigotry.

Egyptian Jews once formed the oldest, largest, and most influential Jewish community in the Arab world. 

Now, less than 70 people, mostly senior citizens, comprise the shrinking Jewish community of Egypt, while Christians amount to less than 10 percent and Shiite Muslims to one percent.

8. Ladies could join protests without fear of thugs sexually assaulting them

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Egyptian women protesting British rule in 1919. Source: Pinterest

It's beyond appalling to see female protesters in the 21st century suffering from atrocities their predecessors didn't face only a century ago.

In 2011, mobs assaulted female activists and protesters in order to prevent and scare them from participating in the 25th Jan revolution

In the years to follow, more protesters were sexually harassed and raped. In 2013, 80 sexual assaults took place in one day in Tahrir square.

9. Women were more free to wear whatever they wanted

And the infamous myth of "She asked for it because of her provocative clothing" was not an acceptable justification for sexual harassment back then. 

According to a UN report, 99.3 percent of Egyptian women and girls are subjected to sexual harassment in one way or another.

What is more worrisome than the number itself, is the societal indifference to the magnitude of the problem. 

Not to mention misinformation and stereotypes branding men as beasts incapable of self-control who deal with women as if they were pieces of meat.

The Huffington Post reported that more than 90 percent of the male respondents in the UN Women study attributed harassment to a woman’s provocative clothing (96.3 percent,) inviting conduct (97.5 percent,) enticing make-up application (95.2 percent,) disregard for cultural traditions (94.9 percent,) walk (93.3 percent) and talk (94.4 percent,) and participation in non-marital relations with the opposite gender (95.7 percent).

10. Women rode bicycles freely

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Snapshot from Egyptian movie Sabe' Banat Source: YouTube

These days, many women get mocked and harassed while in the comfort of their own cars. The moral degeneration of our society makes public spaces less welcoming to females of all ages.

However, Egyptian women are reclaiming the streets with scooters to combat the rampant harassment they face on the streets and on public transportation.