I work at a very diverse manufacturing plant.
Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Burmese, Indian, Iraqi, Pakistani, Mexican, Finnish, Czechoslovakian, and American are all of the ethnic heralds of which I have come to know personally to some level at least one individual at work.
Several months ago, for no reason I could figure, I felt compelled to ask a close friend if he knew of any Egyptians that worked at our facility. He did not, despite the fact he knows the heritage of 90% of the people there :/
Yesterday, I noticed a shining woman I've noticed previously working in an obscure area. She surprised me a week prior with a random compliment. So there I am @ 8:00 AM thinking how provincial it may be that she might need a ride home after work and I'd be granted a comfortable one-on-one opportunity to talk and get to know her briefly.
Seven hours later, I'm rolling my window down to ask if she needs a ride. Of course, she does. She was forced to stay over (my shift usually extends beyond most by ~15 minutes) and her usual ride did not want to wait. She is right to expect most here in America to mistake her for Hispanic. When I asked if her accent was Israeli, she responded, "No, I'm not Mexican" out of habit and limited (but well spoken) English. And of course, she's Egyptian.
We spent much of the time speaking of the second place on my bucket list from which you herald, OP. First time for me to ever speak to an Egyptian and it was a lovely first-hand account from memory regarding some of the places I hope to one day witness for myself.
Glad to see you giving this thread the dedication it deserves, OP :)