Understanding Arabs: 14 hacks to help crack the Middle Eastern Mind
Since the tragedy of 9/11, the Middle East makes the headlines of Western newspapers at a far greater frequency than ever before. And yet, people in the West fail to understand the workings of the Arab mind. They frequently misinterpret what they see and hear. They perceive the Arab world to be mysterious and incomprehensible, and so different from the West so as to rule out any hopes of future reconciliation between the two people a la Samuel Huntington's "Clash of Civilisations". Continue reading below »
The misunderstandings caused by the cultural differences bring to mind Rudyard Kipling’s poem when he said, “The East is East and the West is West and never shall the twain meet.”
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Kipling was wrong on two counts:
1. The East (or the Middle East) and the West can meet for a Turkish coffee.
2. He used a pompous word like “twain” when he could have so easily said “two.”
Let’s bring the East and West together!
Read this anthropological eye-opener and gain a deep understanding of the cultural nuances of the Arab world.
After visiting this slideshow, you will finally understand why Middle Eastern politicians thump their hands on podiums and desks while giving flowery speeches. You will learn what your Arab colleagues in the office mean when they say, they are “tired.” And you will compute how to respond to an Arab Muslim who has asked you to convert to Islam.
Finally, you will discover just what is it you said that caused that pleasant looking gentleman to punch you in the face.
Of course, each country in the Middle East is as different from the next as England is from France. Keeping that in mind we’ve resorted to using broad (but useful) strokes to deepen your understanding of the Arab world. We’ve banked on real life wisdom and Margaret Nydell’s insightful book “Understanding Arabs” to come up with the pearls of wisdom that can be found in each of these slides.
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