The US Bureau of Consular Affairs Travel advice, warnings and resources for all American travellers. 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. Some are Arabs, Turkish, Kurdish, or Baluchi. 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. After I finally succeeded in getting the reserved Pashtun gatekeeper to talk about his family, tea, upcoming Ramadan holiday, and other small talk, he asked me where I was from. 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. Greetings and Conversations. Bye!”. People in the East are rigid in their ideologies and beliefs; they are often reluctant to challenge an… So for instance, you can say an Arabic (language) newspaper, but Arab food or Arab customs. Always ask permission first. The record also indicates that the main center of Patriarchal activity before coming to Palestine was Haran (Aram-Nahariam, Gen. 24:10. The Muslim dilemma of Arabic stems from the fact that the majority of Muslims don’t speak Arabic. As in much of Asia and the Middle East, the left is generally regarded as unclean. 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!”. The Middle East is actually a transcontinental region that centers on western Asia, Egypt, and Turkey. Family is extremely important to Middle Eastern cultures and usually extends to aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. 4. Because I’d walked about 45 minutes to get there, I decided to squat down beside the chokidar, wait, and practice my Urdu on him. 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. To deal with persistent souvenir hawkers, it’s better not to tease them, harass them back or get angry. A guide to Moroccan eating and hospitality. Middle Easterners often greet each other with a number of ritual phrases and fixed responses. 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). 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. DO NOT TAKE PICTURES OF ANY WOMEN WITHOUT ASKING. Afghan, on the other hand, is a term generally used to refer to any ethnic group in Afghanistan, although some use it to refer specifically to Pashtuns. These specialists memorize the Quran by heart, recite it, and pass it on orally to others. For travel in Middle Eastern countries, taking a lightweight  headscarf is highly recommend for women. Middle Eastern Geography and Culture Essay How does geography affect culture? Travel Tip: Ditch those Western ways! When I announced to the Pashtun chokidar (gatekeeper) in my flawed Urdu of my intentions to visit a patient, he abruptly informed me in his equally flawed Urdu that visiting hours were three hours off. Many matters of etiquette in the Middle East are connected to Islam as it is written in the Qur'an and how it has been traditionally understood and … He added that he was sorry for the delay, but said, “I thought you were Punjabi.”. If you offer a cigarette to the person selling the thing (if it’s a man 9 times out of 10 he’ll be a smoker), you start to become more like a friend than a customer, “Oh, we’re just sitting here, two friends, talking about something I like.”, Always handy is a good story to tell while haggling for the product you want –  “it’s for my cousin who is getting married” for example. The you-are-what-you-speakparadigm works pretty well for Berbers (speaking Berber), Pashtuns (speaking Pashtu), Panjabis (speaking Panjabi), Uzbeks (speaking Uzbek), Kurds (speaking Kurdish) and so on. Prophetic and ṢūfÄ« healing traditions continue to flourish in many parts of the Middle East, particularly in the countries of North Africa. Eastern philosophy, art, literature, and other traditions, are often found throughout the region in places of high importance, such as popular culture, architecture and traditional literature. When the State of Israel was founded in 1948, Hebrew was decreed as one of its two official languages (the other one, Arabic, being the language of the Arab Palestinians who remained in Israel). Bedouin men seem not to care and will usually pose handsomely, but ask anyway. Because Muhammad handed down the Quran in Arabic, you can only appreciate the resonant eloquence of the Quran when you recite it. However throughout the years, the two have come to influence one another consta… Guide Written by Erika Linden Green-Rafeh. If a women is wearing a headscarf or is Bedouin (recognisable by facial tattoos), better to not take her picture at all. The geographical location of any given society close to certain physical features may shape the social life of people. These are strict and extremely obligatory. Of course, it’s your preference, but if you want to travel as unobtrusively and respectfully as possible, dress modestly in these countries. In 1988, this author went to a small Afghan hospital in Peshawar to visit one of my Afghan students who’d developed typhoid fever. Fewer than half the world’s Muslims are Arabs. Man is dependent on the fate as determined by God and is powerless in controlling many of life’s events. 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”. The use of Hebrew became a defining trait of Zionism, and Jewish youngsters in Eastern Europe studied Hebrew when preparing to immigrate to Palestine. However, some cultures have much stronger traditions regarding the coffeehouse. In 1988, this author went to a small Afghan hospital in Peshawar … The primary religions of the region are Islam, Judaism and Christianity. There may be good reasons these days to avoid looking like you’re from America. 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. Jews returning to Israel in the 20th century spoke Yiddish, Ladino, Arabic, as well as the many languages of their countries of origin. If you try to say “no-I-know-you-made-it-yourself-it’s-very-nice-I-just-don’t-want-any-I-already-have-seen-that-crap-in-dozens-of-other-shops-I’m-not-buying-any.” in your rapid-fire speaking voice and alien accent, they might not understand, and it seems rude, as if you’re making fun of them. The book will be useful for teachers and students, … Bedouins like this young man wearing a fez are traditionally renowned for their hospitality . 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. Promotes understanding between Americans and Arabs by offering educational programs and audiovisual presentations on Middle Eastern history, art, culture, and current events. In Tajikistan, most people speak Tajik, which is a dialect of Persian. It’s helpful at times, to have a pack of cigarettes, even if you don’t smoke. 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. •“In-Group”-Make statements that show an appreciation of the culture, “Tell me about your culture, I love learning about other cultures”. 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. 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. Tu… . 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. God called Abraham from Ur and made a unique covenant with him. “Here, please have one. Fertility of agriculture, of edible animals, and of the human population was a paramount factor in the life and religion of the ancient Middle East. In South Asia, for example, Pashtuns, Punjabis, Sindhis, Hazaras, Tajiks, and other groups are in constant conflict. … To avoid being a target for pickpockets, walk confidently at all times, even if you’re totally lost and terrified, pretend you’re not. 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