Out here in the villages you often see younger children and babies in the care of their older siblings. It isn't something you see so much in the city, especially with middle and upper class families who might have staff working for them to take care of the kids. But I remember being the oldest of four and essentially being responsible for my younger siblings when my mother had something else to do. I guess it's a bit of a lost art some places now.
I came to Egypt as the wife of an Egyptian/Canadian businessman and the mother of our children in the late 80's. My husband is no longer with us, the children are pursuing careers abroad, but Egypt is still my home, albeit, a rural rather than urban one. You can reach me at msgabbani at gmail.com