Scope out some place safe (bus terminal, gas station, porch of private home with kids) where you can check a map, ask a question or just get your bearings. For example, Indians pay respect to their elders by touching their feet; East Asians use bows as greetings, apologizing and thanking. Ancient Middle East, history of the region from prehistoric times to the rise of civilizations in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and other areas.. Evolution of Middle Eastern civilizations. Most of these s… In fact, even today a superb Quranic recitation can drive Muslims to tears. For these reasons, the prestige of Arabic and oral recitation have remained an essential component of Islamic tradition. If the Moroccan farmer and Lebanese farmer have graduated high school, they’re likely well versed in fusha and could communicate with one another, read the newspaper, and comprehend television newscasts from other Arab countries. The high antiquity of civilization in the Middle East is largely due to the existence of convenient land bridges and easy sea lanes passable in summer or … There may be good reasons these days to avoid looking like you’re from America. This includes Collectivist vs. Individualistic … The people in eastern countries are more traditional than people in the West when we consider their rituals, customs, clothing, etc. Middle Eastern Culture & Cuisine Religious Customs. Arabs are individuals who speak Arabic as a native tongue. But the pattern begins to break down with Persian. Middle Easterners often greet each other with a number of ritual phrases and fixed responses. Promotes understanding between Americans and Arabs by offering educational programs and audiovisual presentations on Middle Eastern history, art, culture, and current events. Warning, though, if there is a crowd of kids, they will descend on you – better to use this nicety if there are only one or two children present. If a women is wearing a headscarf or is Bedouin (recognisable by facial tattoos), better to not take her picture at all. Today, the cultures of the world can be divided into two main parts such as the Eastern and Western culture. •“Duty”-Validate family’s role as caregiver. Making Enemies: Egging on bartering shop keepers, ranting in English, taking unrequested photos of people, especially the Bedouin. Not all Iranians are Persian though. Of course, it’s your preference, but if you want to travel as unobtrusively and respectfully as possible, dress modestly in these countries. OR small pieces of candy or cheap ballpoint pens. People in the East are rigid in their ideologies and beliefs; they are often reluctant to challenge an… Language, Ethnicity, and Tradition in the Middle East. Prophetic and ṢūfÄ« healing traditions continue to flourish in many parts of the Middle East, particularly in the countries of North Africa. What is Middle Eastern culture? I was wearing Pakistani clothes, including a tope, a Pakistani hat. When I told him the United States, he leaped up, shook my hand, expressed his pleasure in meeting me, and informed me that I was free to enter the hospital. Don’t bring too many tank tops or short sleeved shirts or shorts, even in summer (Capri pants can be okay in the more moderate Arab states). When the Romans destroyed the temple at Jerusalem in 70 A.D., Jews dispersed to the Diaspora ceased speaking Hebrew in everyday life and used it mostly in prayers and literature. If you don’t have children and they ask “when?” or “why not?” and you don’t want to get into a lengthy discussion of whatever reason you have, just look slightly wistful and say “Inshallah.” which means “god willing (I’ll have children one day).” which gives you a friendly, graceful exit. Padan-Aram, Deut. Particularly … Most Muslims grow up speaking any number of languages other than Arabic. •“In-Group”-Make statements that show an appreciation of the culture, “Tell me about your culture, I love learning about other cultures”. However, some cultures have much stronger traditions regarding the coffeehouse. Bye!”. While religion is a strong common denominator, adherence … Lace, Fabric, and Fashion Design in Turkey 5. In 1988, this author went to a small Afghan hospital in Peshawar to visit one of my Afghan students who’d developed typhoid fever. Yiddish vs. Hebrew: What’s the Difference? How to Dress: Modestly for men (i.e no shorts) and for women, a headscarf is an essential and absolutely no bare arms or bare legs. However throughout the years, the two have come to influence one another consta… In South Asia, for example, Pashtuns, Punjabis, Sindhis, Hazaras, Tajiks, and other groups are in constant conflict. For example; in Iraq, people must follow strict religious customs that are set for them, whereas in Bahrain, a more liberal culture, people do not practice these customs … Explore in detail the specific customs and cultural traits of several Middle Eastern countries! This formal Arabic is in many ways an artificial language because almost no one really grows up speaking Modern Standard Arabic at home (although most Arabs try to convince you their dialect is closest to fusha). In 1988, this author went to a small Afghan hospital in Peshawar … What is the Traditional Dress of Israel? No matter what your personal feelings about this custom are, it saves you a lot of staring and unwanted attention from grinning teens to hassle from grown men.  More importantly however, it’s more respectful of the culture. A guide to Moroccan eating and hospitality. Arabs were around long before … The literary language of pre-Islamic poetry, the Quran, and classical Arabic literature has survived today in a version called Modern Standard Arabic, or fusha. These specialists memorize the Quran by heart, recite it, and pass it on orally to others. Many of the place names in the region of Haran are tied in with Abrahamic history: Serug, Nahor, Terah.4 4. Religion: The major religion of North Africa and the Middle East is Islam and there are substantial numbers of Jews and Christians who also live in these countries. A little politeness and a smattering of a few Arabic words will earn you dividends one hundred-fold when encountering the local people in any of the Arab lands. Observe the locals, cross the street when and where they do – cross with them in a group rather than alone. In fact, before the late 19th century, almost no one grew up speaking Hebrew at home. Najda: Women Concerned About the Middle East. Because Muhammad handed down the Quran in Arabic, you can only appreciate the resonant eloquence of the Quran when you recite it. Many souvenir hawkers seem to know many languages, but often they only known a few appropriate phrases or attention getting questions in that language, and that’s where their knowledge ends. The major countries of this region are Lebanon, Egypt, Oman, Kuwait, Iraq, Iran, Bahrain, and Cyprus. You can pretty much answer any question you don’t want to answer with “Inshallah!” It’s a great phrase – sort of like “we’ll see, sort of, I don’t know, maybe, probably not!”. It’s helpful at times, to have a pack of cigarettes, even if you don’t smoke. Rain and dew were all-important in Canaan but of little … They’re just trying to make a living to feed themselves and their family. Many of these characteristics and customs apply as much today as they did in ancient times, while other traditions have died out. Arabs are located in 22 principle countriessituated in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Greetings and Conversations. Related and sometimes useful is a bag of small cheap plastic hair barrettes to hand out to little girls – comes in handy when you want to take pictures. The headscarf option may be of more use in the more rural areas as city women tend to dress far more “western”.  This is true for cities such as Marrakech, Istanbul, Damascus, Beirut where the rules about head scarves are much more relaxed – however, ALL mosques require you to be respectful and cover yourselves before entering. Watch how the locals dress, greet each other and follow suit. Family. The use of Hebrew became a defining trait of Zionism, and Jewish youngsters in Eastern Europe studied Hebrew when preparing to immigrate to Palestine. The Arab, Turkish, and Iranian cultures are heirs to great Islamic empires that had their centers in the region and represent three distinct variations within the global Islamic civilization. Bedouin men seem not to care and will usually pose handsomely, but ask anyway. Make sure you keep any expensive cameras in cases and preferably out of view in a bag or rucksack, or at least carried towards your body rather than in view of wandering hands on the street. A great tension exists between different ethnic groups in the Middle East. From the first generation of Muslims, the duty of preserving the Quran has fallen to a Quranic specialist called hafiz (meaning one who memorizes). However, Iran and Turkey, which many people consider Arab nations, are not part of this group because they speak Farsi or Turkish. However, intensive efforts were made to teach all of them Hebrew, and the revival of the language became complete. Given Arabic’s special status in Islamic tradition, the consensus among Muslims is that any translation of the Quran into another language dilutes the meaning and full impact of the Quran’s message, not to mention the loss of resonant eloquence that you can only attain in Arabic. The US Bureau of Consular Affairs Travel advice, warnings and resources for all American travellers. In Iran, most Muslims speak Persian; in Afghanistan, Pushtu, Dari (a dialect of Persian), or Uzbek; in Pakistan, perhaps Sindhi, Baluchi, or Punjabi; in India, Hindi, Kashmiri, or Urdu; in Bangladesh, Bengali. For single women travelling alone, it is suggested to bring a ring that looks like a wedding band, and possibly a picture of any man that you can refer proudly to as “my husband”. So for instance, you can say an Arabic (language) newspaper, but Arab food or Arab customs. Arab culture and the Islamic faith are deeply intertwined. The book will be useful for teachers and students, … While Islam is the predominant religion, other religious groups are accepted and treated with respect.Most Arabs believe that most of life’s events are controlled and orchestrated by God. Stay away from crowds and never get involved in the local demonstrations.  Steer clear of heavily guarded American embassies, except if you’re going in to register, and always steer clear of military-looking areas. To avoid being a target for pickpockets, walk confidently at all times, even if you’re totally lost and terrified, pretend you’re not. Storytelling traditions vary all over the world, yet have many things in common. The spread of Buddhism and Hindu Yoga is partly responsible for this. God called Abraham from Ur and made a unique covenant with him. Wearing the pseudo wedding band means “hands off, no chance”. For this reason, you could say you are what you speak. Maybe you think of the Golden Age of Islamic civilization, or of hummus and falafel, but, in fact, there is a great diversity of the cultural production of the Middle East today. In South Asia, for example, Pashtuns, Punjabis, Sindhis, Hazaras, Tajiks, and other groups are in constant conflict. When we get to Modern Hebrew, the whole theory falls completely apart because the native speakers of Hebrew are Jews, (primarily Israeli Jews). Middle Eastern Humanities: An Introduction to Cultures of the Middle East combines the guided, step-by-step and interactive style of a textbook with a sophisticated and sympathetic approach to the cultural logics of tradition and innovation of the Middle East. Racial and ethnic harmony varies from peaceful in Syria to contentious in Israel. To deal with persistent souvenir hawkers, it’s better not to tease them, harass them back or get angry. The term Persian generally refers to an Iranian who speaks the Persian language, also known as Farsi. Guide Written by Erika Linden Green-Rafeh. Strong religion beliefs often govern family life and their way of life. Learn a few useful and polite phrases in Arabic and you’ll soon be making friends with the warmest and most welcoming people in the world. While it’s considered impolite to make out in … The Do's and Don'ts when eating with a Moroccan family at home. World Bank data for 2017 estimated the population of the Arab world at 414.5 million. Some of the influencers of Lebanese culture are Phoenicians, Assyrians, Romans, Ottoman Turks, Greeks, Persians, … For example, many countries in the Middle East still have arranged marriages and require that women cover their head and/or face to varying degrees. In the Middle East, for instance, getting a cup of coffee (or tea) is a significant part of each day, with cultural and social importance. 26:5). Turkish Weddings: Colorful and Lavish Traditions 2. In some major cities, such as Beirut, Tel Aviv or Dubai, you will likely see locals and tourists... Hospitality Is Key. Middle Eastern Geography and Culture Essay How does geography affect culture? 1. Steer clear of travel mishaps and social gaffs when on the road to Damascus (or anywhere else in the Middle East) with our handy travel guide to the customs and cultures of the region. The record also indicates that the main center of Patriarchal activity before coming to Palestine was Haran (Aram-Nahariam, Gen. 24:10. In the ancient African culture, some of the people associated mountains, trees, or hills to their Gods and their cultural practices. Arabic describes the language they speak, whereas Arab refers to the people. Each section describes the staple foods, meal patterns, cooking techniques, and food-related customs and traditions. Eastern world refers to countries in Asia and Middle East. Hence different parts of the world feature different cultures that vary very much from one another. “Here, please have one. The culture of a community or a nation depends upon the surroundings, the values and beliefs that they are brought up upon. Even more diverse than the different English dialects spoken in Australia, Ireland, England, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States, Arabic has a vast array of dialects so distinct that an uneducated farmer from Morocco likely couldn’t communicate with an illiterate farmer from Lebanon. In art history, literature and cultural studies, Orientalism is the imitation or depiction of aspects in the Eastern world.These depictions are usually done by writers, designers, and artists from the West. You may actually be surprised that street crime is much lower in the Middle East than the towns and cities back home (punishment and discipline is far stricter in all levels of society) but it always pays to look after your valuables carefully. degree in Middle Eastern Cultures and Religions is an interdisciplinary program that combines studies in religion, language, history, and social sciences, and provides students opportunities for field education. Today you can find children all across the non-Arab Muslim World reading and reciting the Quran in an almost flawless Arabic under the patient guidance of a mullah (who has normally donated his time) even though these young children don’t have a clue what they’re saying. These are strict and extremely obligatory. “No, thank you.” said firmly and clearly is better and will let them exit to find another victim. Small talk and ritual greetings is normal. 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