If you live in the United States, you must know that the Constitution requires the separation of church and state. When you live in America with such a view, you may encounter conflicts when you travel to Arab countries or the Middle East due to the difference in American culture and social norms from other Islamic countries. Therefore, before traveling or immigrating to Arab countries or other countries in the Middle East, you should get enough information about the destination country.
Approximately 20% of countries have an official and state religion. Most countries with official and state beliefs there are in the Middle East.
This article will discuss social norms in the middle east, what not to do in the middle east and middle eastern cultural values. If you find it helpful after reading the article, be sure to share this article with your friends.
what not to do in the middle east
Many people outside the Middle East think that the Middle East is a region with unique customs and that they should know more about this region and Arab countries before traveling or migrating for study or work.
Many people choose the Middle East to do business. Some people are interested in studying these countries’ old heritage and religion and want to know what not to do in the middle east when visiting these countries.
So in this article, we will tell you what not to do in the middle east.
Dress appropriately for the local culture
Perhaps you will face many contradictions when traveling to the Middle East.
Each country has a unique culture for dressing in the Middle East regions. So, when traveling to the Middle East and Arab countries, be sure to dress according to the local culture of that country.
Read more : Difference Between Norms and Values
Wearing a scarf and observing hijab for women
When traveling to the Middle East, many people are familiar with the cultural norms of this region, and some people ask questions about the hijab.
In some Arab countries, there is no need to wear a headscarf, but in some regions, observing the hijab and wearing a headscarf is considered a social norm. If women in these regions or countries do not wear headscarves, they have broken the norm.
In countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia, women must wear headscarves.
Say yes to drinking coffee.
These social norms in the middle east may seem a little strange. But you should know that refusing the offer to drink coffee in the store is a form of impoliteness.
Please do not refuse the request to drink coffee because it is one of the hospitality customs in the Middle East.
Middle east culture facts – cultural norms in middle east
Most countries in the Middle East have Arabic culture. When we research the culture of Arab countries, we realize that they are different societies, groups and cultures, customs, and social norms.
So one can never speak with certainty about the culture of the Middle East because each country in this region has a unique culture. Therefore, the information that we will state below about middle east culture facts is common to the countries related to the Middle East to a large extent.
Be careful when criticizing countries in the Middle East. Because in most of these countries, even constructive criticism may be considered offensive.
The position of women in western societies
You must have seen in TV programs that Arab women have a unique dressing style. Arab women usually wear a headscarf even if they are wearing western clothes. Wearing a headscarf is essential in the culture and social norms in the middle east.
Women have an advantageous position in Arab societies. For example, when a woman enters the room, the men present must stand.
But it is interesting to know that although respect for women has an essential place in Arab culture, women’s rights are often lost.
The head of the family
When we research social norms in the Middle East and Middle Eastern culture, we realize that the family has a very high position in Arab societies. In Arabic and Islamic culture, the man is the head of the family.
Shake hands and create a business in the Middle East
Do you intend to cooperate and create a business in the Middle East? So don’t forget to shake hands with men. After reaching an agreement and starting your business, you need to shake hands with men and your colleagues and shake hands a little, but be careful not to shake their hands too hard. Always remember that building respect and trust before doing business with Arabs is essential.
5 facts about the middle east
We want to introduce you to 5 exciting facts about the Middle East. Knowing these facts will help you understand the culture and social norms specific to this region.
1. Did you know that two major world religions, Christianity and Islam, originated in the Middle East? Did you know that religions with fewer followers, such as Judaism and Baha’i, were also established in this region?
READ MORE :Which religion came first in the world?
2. Muhammad is a name that originated in the Middle East. Muhammad is the name of the last prophet of Islam. It is interesting to know that this name is currently the most common name worldwide. The name of 150 million men and boys in the world is Muhammad.
3. 30% of the Middle East’s population is between 15 and 29 years old, and the Middle East has one of the youngest populations in its history.
4. Available statistics show that in two-thirds of the Middle East countries, women study more than men in universities.
5. Throughout history, the most significant religious conflict has been related to the Middle East. Overall, in 2014, the level of religious conflicts due to religious motives was four times higher than the global average.
What is the middle east known for?
Maybe the question that, what is the middle east known for? Always exist in your mind.
To answer this question, we must say that the Middle East includes areas of West Asia and North East Africa. British military strategists used the term middle east in the 19th century.
The Middle East is not only a geographical term but this term also refers to a political term. That is the place that separates Europe from the Far East.
This region is famous in the world for its dry climate. For this reason, many think the Middle East has many desert lands.
But it is interesting to know that the mountains of Turkey, Iran, Lebanon, Israel, and northern Iraq are very green, and there is a ski resort. The Middle East is famous because it was the cradle of the first urban civilizations in the world, and Abrahamic religions such as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam were born in this region; for this reason, many people know the Middle East for the same reasons we mentioned.
Middle eastern culture values
Arab culture has changed a lot since ancient times. Various religions have emerged in the Middle East. In ancient times, different empires and kingdoms ruled the world. For this reason, there are other ethnic groups among the Arab communities and the Middle East region. Each nation and each society has its own culture and social norms, which have changed a lot over the years. Among the cultural heritage of Arabs, we can mention language, literature, art, architecture, music, spirituality, philosophy, and mysticism. (Behrens-Abouseif, 2019)
When we search for ancient traditions in Arab history, we find out that local Arab dances, known as oriental dances or Middle Eastern dances, have a special place in Arab culture.
Usually, when we come across the term “Arabic dance,” we often think of belly dance. But you should know that there are different styles of traditional Arab dance. (Kashua, 2007)
Most Arabic dances have a long history.
Folk dances in the past were usually performed in rituals or as entertainment. Arab dance had a special place in the court of kings.
Poetry, music, and dancing are among middle eastern cultural values. (Khouri, 2010)
One of the middle eastern cultural values is that in the eastern culture, people prefer to express their feelings in a subtle way, but in the western culture, people often express their emotions openly and directly.
Another issue that is different between eastern culture and western culture is that in the middle Eastern culture, values are such that women play traditional roles such as being a mother, but in western culture, women are expected to achieve a better position in society.
Conclusion of social norms in the middle east
In this article, we explained the culture and social norms in the Middle East. We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Thank you for being with us. Please share this article with your other friends so that they also get to know social norms in the middle east.
- Behrens-Abouseif, D. (2019). Beauty in Arabic Culture. Markus Wiener Publishers.
- Kashua, S. (2007). Dancing Arabs. Grove Atlantic.
- Khouri, M. (2010). The Arab National Project in Youssef Chahine’s Cinema. Amsterdam University Press.