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Cultural Gem-6

Gesture: “OK”

What you think it means in the west? “Everything or all good!”

Please Try to Don’t do it in Middle-East.

What it means in Arab Countries, Greece and Turkey? “It is unmoral & sexual attraction gesture.”


Vector OK hand gesture. Allright hand drawn sign. Vector pencil sketch illustration. Isolated on white background.

The Code of Honor and Respect Around Arab Culture

Arab people believe that reputation, honor and respect are very important personality components. In fact, if a person loses his/her honor or dignity, he/she is ruined in the eyes of his/her family and community. This cultural value dictates why many people always behave well in public and try to leave the best possible impression on others. The elders are generally the most respected members in the family and publicly.

Michael Pau


Cultural Gem – 3

Arab countries have diverse forms of government. Some of them are Parliamentary Republics like Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia, Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen. On the other hand, there are traditional monarchies in Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. Jordan and Morocco are constitutional monarchies. Religion plays a big role in the world of Arab politics in many different ways.

In Lebanon and Iraq for example, Parliamentary representation is divided according to religious affiliation (Muslim, Christian, and others). Also, Jordan and Morocco determine their King’s legitimacy based on his direct descent from the “Prophet Mohammed,” however, he is not a religious leader.

Cultural Gem – 2

The family is the key social unit of an Arab. This loyalty influences all aspects of an Arab’s life. They honor and respect their family and highly value their friendships. The culture is patriarchal and hierarchal. Fathers and elders dominate. As far as they’re concerned the larger the family the better. Large families can provide for economic benefits, and usually a son will care for his parents in their elderly years. Large families provide the father with the prestige of virility. Clan and then tribe follow family in terms of loyalty as a social unit, although most contemporary Arabs express a national identity as well. Male offspring are favored, since a son is expected to care for his parents in their advanced age, whereas a daughter becomes part of the son-in-law’s family. Also, according to traditional social norms, a son can bring a family honor, whereas a daughter can only bring shame. Women typically have a private area in the household, separated from men, especially in the rural areas and communities ruled by Islamic Law. The more progressive, educated Arabs dwelling in cities tend to adhere less to these outdated traditions.

Cultural Gem – 1

The Arabic life system is a combination of cultural traits, both racial and religious. The Arab world includes religions like Islam, Christianity and Judaism, but also many other sectarians such as the Sabean, the Yazidi, and the Druze. There are more than 200 million Arabs worldwide. To be an Arab is to come from a particular race or tribal lineage. To speak and write the Arabic language by adaptation does not make a person Arabic or mean they should be call themselves Arabic. Arabic is the official and the original language of the Qur’an, the Islamic holy book.

The Arab World in Brief

The Arab world stretches from Iraq in the East to Mauritania in the West across Northern Africa to the Arabic Gulf. The Arab world is more or less equal to the area known as the Middle East and North Africa. Also Somalia, Djibouti and the Comoros Islands are part of the Arab world.

22 Arab countries/areas: Algeria, Bahrain, the Comoros Islands, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. 
Iran and Turkey are not Arab countries.

Arab countries are religiously and ethnically diverse with Islam being the dominant religion in most countries, also Arabic is the dominant language.

Hello Baghdad !

Hundreds of thousands of Shiites make their way across the newly-rebuilt Sarifiyah bridge and a smaller neighboring bridge in their annual pilgrimage to the Kadhamiyah shrine in northern Baghdad, Iraq, July 29, 2008.(Photo by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Lorie Jewell/Released)

Extend your carpet, and fill my cup
Forget your rebuke
I have forgotten mine
Your eyes, O Baghdad, since my childhood
Two suns sleeping between my eyelashes
Do not deny me, you are my love
And the roses of my table, my cup and wine
.. I came to you Baghdad as a worn-out ship
I hide my wounds behind my clothes
I lay my head on the chest of my princess
And our lips converge after a long absence
I am an old sailor who spends life
In the search for love and loved ones
Baghdad .. I flew on a silk cloak
And I landed like a sparrow in his intended nest
And dawns wedding of minarets and domes
So I saw you Baghdad as a piece of the diamond
Relax among the palm trees and grapes
Wherever I turn I see my home
The smell in this dirt is my dirt
Never emigrate …
Every white cloud is the pride of my cloud
The inhabitants of stars of your valley is the same starry inhabitants of my valley
Baghdad.. I lived the beauty in your colors
But your beauty was not in my considerations
What I will write about you my precious Turquoise
For your mysterious love a thousand books is not enough
My poem kills me, every piece of poem
Absorbs me, the oil of my youth
The Golden Dagger draws my blood
And sleeps between my flesh and the nerves
Baghdad.. Oh sing of the palm trees and ornaments
Oh the store of the fragrant spices
Please don’t remove the harp chord from my hand
The longing is larger than my hand from my harp
Before the parting, you were my sweet darling
And Sweet you will remain after me

Michael Paul's World

Public figure. Expert on Arabic culture & speaking
on cross cultural issues

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