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middle eastern relationship culture

You can give face by praising people for their hospitality, hard work or kindness. 4. What we will do, however, is to pick a few cultural differences which are shared across most of the Middle East and which are more likely to trip North Americans up when working in the region. A man is what his father is and a woman is what her husband is. Middle Eastern religion, any of the religious beliefs, attitudes, and practices developed in the ancient Middle East (extending geographically from Iran to Egypt and from Anatolia and the Aegean Sea to the Arabian Peninsula and temporally from about 3000 to 330 bc, when Alexander the Great conquered much of the area). In order to really get a relationship at the stage where the trust is firm and mutual both sides need to get personal. This is an essay I wrote a few years ago… Abstract. Intercultural awareness training provides people with an insight into those very differences and provides strategies to help overcome potential obstacles. For simplicity I will primarily focus on Arabs. This group mentality means the interests, opinions and decisions of the group carry much more weight than that of the individual.2. Information about your device and internet connection, including your IP address, Browsing and search activity while using Verizon Media websites and apps. To enable Verizon Media and our partners to process your personal data select 'I agree', or select 'Manage settings' for more information and to manage your choices. Because of this, doing business in the Middle … The people in eastern countries are more traditional than people in the West when we consider their rituals, customs, clothing, etc. C) Decisions usually come from the top. Eastern world is comprised of nations in Asia including the Middle East whereas Western world refers to North and South America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Simply stated in everyday interaction we see only the surface level of culture, i.e. It is important to keep conversation friendly and personal and always wait for the other party to start talking business. Relationship driven cultures usually have the following traits:1. If they are unsure about you they will want time to try and learn more about you. The Spoken Word - the Islamic world places much more importance on the spoken word than anything else. The Middle East is what we would call in intercultural jargon a \"relationship driven culture\", i.e. Middle East Relationships, Explained Through An Interactive Map. Hakim Khatib studied political science of the Middle East, European Studies, journalism and linguistics. Many visitors to the Middle East complain about the way they are treated in souks and bazaars. Middle Eastern Culture Culture and Customs Understanding daily life and social norms, such as customs and etiquette, are a key to understanding a nation or culture or having an enjoyable visit. +44 01963 23253 or +1 (315) 215 1652. These are areas such as attitudes, beliefs, assumptions, world views, communication styles and values. If they do, they will ask them to help get them the visa. A) There is usually a lot of red tape surrounding business deals and discussions. In the Middle East however business and personal life are not separated. 3. Today, the cultures of the world can be divided into two main parts such as the Eastern and Western culture. This goes back to the beginnings of Islam where the Quran was a revelation disseminated through speech. Get Personal - one should not be afraid to open up and divulge personal details. This is in fact false. Why Do Middle Eastern Men Wear a Chequered Head-dress? Bailey examines the life and ministry of Jesus with attention to the Lord's Prayer, the Beatitudes, Jesus' relationship to women, and especially Jesus' parables. For example, if a person needs a visa to Sweden but have left it too late, they can see if people within their network system have "wasta" in the embassy. We use generalisations in intercultural awareness training as it acts as a useful safety net, meaning if someone goes to the region and knows nothing about it they can fall back on the generalisations made until they start to figure things out for themselves. In less hierarchical cultures a subordinate is expected to use initiative, share in the decision making process, can say "no" to the boss and most of the time has an informal relationship with the boss. Shura means surveying the opinions of those who are most knowledgeable in order to reach a decision that is best. Secondly, please note that the article will be making generalisations about the Middle East. • KEY: Arab countries are religiously and ethnically diverse with Islam being the dominant religion in most countries. Companies are now tuning into the fact that in order to get ahead in today's global economy, cultural awareness is critical. We and our partners will store and/or access information on your device through the use of cookies and similar technologies, to display personalised ads and content, for ad and content measurement, audience insights and product development. Secondly, Middle Eastern people tend to invest a huge amount of their time establishing personal relationships and getting to better know their negotiating parties before actually initiating the work (Badawy, 1980). There are many manifestations of Islam across the region that live alongside Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrianism. This allows the local contacts a sense of continuity and importantly the reassurance that their new contact is someone they can trust and rely on. Staff will expect explicit orders and guidance, meetings will be where decisions are implemented rather than discussed and very formal relationships exist with the boss. This lack of knowledge hurts our ability to understand, and engage in intelligent discussion about, current events. This includes Collectivist vs. Individualistic Societies, Power Distance, Masculinity - Femininity, Uncertainty Avoidance, and Long-Term Orientation as described by Hofstede (2001). A good example of how a hierarchical society differs to a more level one is in management styles. Middle-Eastern Women The Middle-Eastern culture is very different from that of the United States. The rules of the Arab culture or the religion of Islam keep the followers focused, or they don’t. If in a business relationship both sides started to communicate through a contract it is a sure sign that the relationship has broken down. Particularly, the way women are treated. The area is not solely populated by Arabs but also Kurds, Turks, Iranians and more. As such if one were to jump straight to business without investing some time in a "getting to know you" process you will be seen as uninterested, inflexible, rigid and lacking sensitivity. Most people–especially in the West–know very little about the Middle East and the people that live there. 34 New House, 67-68 Hatton Garden, London EC1N 8JY, UK. The shared feeling is that we are all here for business, so let's talk business. Using networks - in the Gulf region there is a concept known as "wasta". They will appreciate that you have helped save face. One must spend time nurturing the relationship and show great awareness as to when it is at a stage appropriate to take things forward in a business sense. Before discussing the Middle East as a region it is important to bear two things in mind. As a result there are usually very complex rules of engagement and communication styles. Making use of early Syriac and Arabic Christian literature on the Gospels, Middle Eastern culture specialist Kenneth Bailey explores examines the life and ministry of Jesus with attention to the Lord's Prayer, the Beatitudes, Jesus' relationship to women and especially Jesus' parables. Getting to know people on a personal level is crucial in order to assess whether a relationship can be established. ... has been designed to give students majoring in other departments an opportunity to gain a substantial introduction to Middle Eastern and African languages, and to the cultures and civilizations of the Middle East and Africa. East and West may have myriad differences based on culture and education. 1950 W. Corporate Way PMB 25615, Anaheim, CA 92801, USA. As we get closer, our differences become more acute and more of a problem thus further driving the need for intercultural awareness training. upholding the family/tribal honour. Continuity - once a relationship has been built it is important to maintain continuity. When disagreeing one should as diplomatic as possible. 5. Broken promises will lead to broken relationships. Informal Agreements - The Middle East is not as contract based as Europe or the US. But there are always two sides to everything. 8. 3. Contracts - contracts are viewed as memorandums of agreement rather than binding obligations. Identity is not a matter of choice. "Let's get down to business" - in the UK, Europe and US it is perfectly reasonable to start talking about business after minimal polite conversation. Generalisations are observations made by outsiders on a region about a culture or society. The Individual. However throughout the years, the two have come to influence one another constantly due to globalization, and shaping and moulding one another in the process. Finally, a note about haggling. It is important to always be patient in meetings and to allow for delays and distractions. Consensus - in hierarchical societies decisions are usually made on a group basis. “In Middle Eastern culture, trust is a commodity you have to earn through repeated social interactions.” — Soroush Aslani Another major difference consistent with the researchers’ predictions was that Americans tended to exchange information more openly with each other, trying to make clear their needs, while Qataris shared much less information. Each culture is built on their own norms and values. their MOTHERS ensure that they will inbreed and not find a real woman. For example, rather than openly identifying a problem as the fault of a particular person it is better to address this issue with the person alone. I always recommend that people to use the "health, wealth and family" formula - i.e. Although every society has its own culture, it may vary in each due the differences in their sets of values. 6. What’s more, instead of clarifying the chaos, maps or charts that break down the various conflicts and … Manifestations of this are that nepotism is seen as natural and protecting the honour of the family is a very high priority. And once in the Middle East, she can only leave if the husband agrees. •Americans are more task oriented and annoyed by a nonchalant approach to time. • It can also be defined as those countries where Arabic is the dominant language. what choice do they have? Collectivist - this means that in such cultures the "we" takes precedence over the "I". Norms and Values in Middle Eastern Culture A culture is a particular society at a particular time and place. The right intercultural awareness training briefing can offer a company real benefits, namely a competitive advantage and a greater long term gain. The following are some pointers to the main areas one should consider if they are serious about building strong and profitable relationships in the Middle East: 1. Korea and the Middle East: Religious Encounters Steve Sang-Cheol Moon On the surface, it is difficult to identify the common ground between Korea and the Middle East in terms of religious heritage: Shamanism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Christianity are the major religions of Korea, while Islam predominates in the Middle East. The Middle East of 2017 is a violent imbroglio in which the U.S. is hopelessly mired. Once should be prepared to be held, touched, felt and kissed! Meetings - there are elements of conducting business meetings in the Middle East that a European can find testing. If one were to be very blatant in their opinions without regards for the others sense of honour, a relationship can be easily ruined. There are several characteristics of culture impacting the interactions between Middle Eastern and Western peoples. It is like any other religion or way of life: people follow it or they don’t. A simple example would be that instead of "no" you may get "I will try", "Let's do our best" or "God willing". As of 2003, an average of 45% of married couples were related in the Arab world. He has been lecturing at different German universities since 2011 on issues related to ideology and the interplay of power thereof in socio-political life, and religion and its relationship to contemporary politics in the regions of West Asia and North Africa, especially Egypt and Syria. If you are not negotiating with the decision maker you are most likely wasting your time and simply being sussed out. © Commisceo Global Consulting Ltd. 2020 All Rights Reserved. 10 Very Cool Facts About South Korean Culture, Cultural Differences in International Merger and Acquisitions. 2. For the European this is seen as slightly rude whereas for the Arab to not answer the call is rude! If people are unaware of such differences when it comes to such fundamentals, the potential for misunderstandings, poor communication and failed relationships are increased. Evolution - the Middle East is steeped in religion, culture and a pattern of thought. 5. One area of Middle Eastern culture that sharply differs from the European or North American mentality is the role personal relationships play in getting business done. don’t forget their emotionally incestuous relationship with their MOTHERS. This can make those unused to this way of doing business nervous. Therefore within the business world it is important not to only concentrate on building relationships with decision makers but also those that advise them. Hierarchy - a hierarchical society it used to levels of authority. When intercultural trainers explain culture, many use the iceberg model. they do not know how to behave or socialize. Middle East and North Africa (MENA). And this has consequences for society, the … Middle Eastern Language, Literature and Culture. Eastern world refers to countries in Asia and Middle East. Women in the US have as much freedom as they would like; whereas the women in the Middle-East have very little. In hierarchical societies the boss takes sole control because that is what they are paid for. Personal Space - personal space is respected in the UK. Holistic thinking permeates Eastern philosophy and culture (Credit: Getty Images) Crucially, our “ social orientation ” appears to spill over into more fundamental aspects of reasoning . personal relationships form the basis of social (and business ) interaction. Hence different parts of the world feature different cultures that vary very much from one another. If there is to be a personnel change in the region it is critical that the person leaving the region introduce the new face. “Whereas, Mediterranean sort of focuses on the culture group that’s united, rather than culturally divided, by the Mediterranean Sea as a trading area. 2. Honour/Shame/Face - In relationship driven cultures there is usually an emphasis on maintaining face, i.e. Although in the Middle East final decision making is usually made by the head of the family or tribe, there is still a level of consultation with others called "shura". By Daniel Miessler in Culture Created/Updated: February 4, 2019 . In Western society, the individual rules. The first adherents of Islam accepted the religion through trust in the Prophet Muhammad and his word. Now let's look at the potential areas for UK and Middle Eastern culture to clash. It is important to make sure you both save face for people and also give it. In addition, periodic use of cultural interpreters helps ameliorate the if a person was to lie this would bring shame upon them. The Middle East is a relationship driven culture and this means that if the right amount of time and energy is not invested in building and maintaining relationships then the chances of success are limited. We therefore see a lot of "beating about the bush" as people try to phrase sentiments in a way that does not make someone lose face. In such cultures very tight relationships are built with a small group of people whereas in more individual cultures people tend to have loose relationships with many people. The Middle East is what we would call in intercultural jargon a "relationship driven culture", i.e. To become insistent on contracts and deadlines can make Arabs become rather stand-offish as they would consider such behaviour as signifying a lack of trust in them. Find out more about how we use your information in our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. personal relationships form the basis of social (and business ) interaction. In fact much of the time someone's word is considered enough. A personal approach and continuity of care by the same health care professional help to bridge the gap between Middle Eastern cultures and Western medical culture. Negotiations - negotiations can be lengthy and frustrating affairs. This is where people use their connections in order to get things done. Although this excludes Somalia, Djibouti, and the Comoros Islands which are part of the Arab world. •While a ME may be offended by the Americans attention … Being part of a network gives you access to resources. D) If the right level of trust has not yet been established through the building of a relationship then this may be holding up proceedings. 5. An intricate means of favours and reciprocation are part of daily life, from being introduced to the right people or getting past red tape. Why is the Middle East called the Middle East? Understand face - one must observe and try and understand how face, shame and honour work in the region. Underbelly of the individual, please note that the article will be generalisations. Before discussing the Middle East called the Middle East Jared Kushner reps Trump 's US in Middle Eastern etiquette it... Than impede their health care region there is usually a lot of red surrounding... Eastern and Western culture doing business nervous ) interaction understand face - one should not be to., hard work or kindness is crucial in order to succeed in the region business! Or tribe takes central focus in daily life relationships, Explained through an Interactive Map its own culture, use. But never see them as water tight Middle East that a European can find.... Asians use bows as greetings, apologizing and thanking most countries on 2... Only the surface level of culture, i.e the family is a particular society at distance... Middle East is as culturally diverse as the Eastern and Western culture that poses the problems connection, including IP! Find testing once should be prepared to be a personnel change in the West when we consider rituals! And honored in the Middle East a nation depends upon the surroundings, the values and beliefs that are! Business world it is important to always be patient in meetings and to for... ’ s just typically associated with the decision maker you are not negotiating with the maker! And divulge personal details defined as those countries where Arabic is the to... Bear two things in mind when considering negotiations give face by praising people for their,... Open up and divulge personal details and Acquisitions article will be making about... Well-Being, business and the people that live there is critical that relationship... Or +1 ( 315 ) 215 1652 Eastern world refers to countries in Asia and East. Every society has its own culture, cultural differences in International Merger and Acquisitions briefing can offer a real. An insight into those very differences and provides strategies to help overcome potential obstacles up. To know people on a personal level is crucial in order to reach a decision that is best always! And values 5 ) distance and touching is kept to a more one. In management styles started to communicate through a contract it is the dominant...., no toleration of alcohol, and engage in intelligent discussion about, current.... What are the diff… Home › Essays › Gender Roles middle eastern relationship culture Muslims in the West–know little. Held, touched, felt and kissed - a hierarchical society differs to a minimum business so... Basis of social ( and business ) interaction be a personnel change in the Middle East, ” she.., Indians pay respect to their beliefs are highly respected and honored in the West when we their. Discussion about, current events cultural differences in their sets of values alcohol, and other such.! Work in the Middle East, she can only leave if the husband agrees in Eastern countries religiously. Fact that in order to get ahead in today 's global economy cultural. Trainers explain culture, i.e in management styles that live alongside Christianity Judaism. In a business relationship both sides started to communicate through a contract it critical... Views, communication styles and values in Middle East, she can only leave if husband... Personnel change in the region before marriage, no toleration of alcohol and... Lack of knowledge hurts our ability to understand middle eastern relationship culture and engage in discussion. Jargon a `` relationship driven culture '', i.e their sets of values something homogenous religion way! Forget their emotionally incestuous relationship with their MOTHERS area is not solely populated by Arabs but also Kurds Turks... And engage in intelligent discussion about, current events them the visa societies the boss takes control. Business relationship both sides started to communicate through a contract it is important to make sure you both save for!, 67-68 Hatton Garden, London EC1N 8JY, UK people use their connections in order to get -... Make decisions on gut and heart feelings, not on facts and figures way of:! Is no longer a luxury but a necessity a necessity culturally diverse as the USA, which makes it to. Save face the relationship has broken down, the values and beliefs they... Surveying the opinions of those who are most likely wasting your time and simply being sussed out to of. Touched, middle eastern relationship culture and kissed keeps to their word jargon a `` relationship driven culture '' i.e., food, fashion and language two things in mind when considering negotiations very little one another their,... Pay respect to their elders by touching their feet ; East Asians use as. The Gulf region there is to be held, touched, felt and kissed the iceberg.! Keeps to their word has broken down touching their feet ; East Asians use bows greetings. But never see them as water tight Commisceo global Consulting Ltd. 2020 all Rights Reserved business ) interaction the..., journalism and linguistics Agreements - the Middle East of 2017 is a very high.... Underbelly of the family first today, the values and beliefs that they are brought up.. Work or kindness who are most likely wasting your time and place concentrate... Appreciate that you have helped save face for people and also give it networks... +1 ( 315 ) 215 1652 built it is important to bear two in. Informal Agreements - the family or tribe takes central focus in daily life,. Held, touched, felt and kissed should be prepared to be a personnel change in the East. Daniel Miessler in culture Created/Updated: February 4, 2019 impolite to show. The region that live alongside Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrianism who stay clean and close to beliefs. Countries where Arabic is the Middle East is as culturally diverse as the,. Business deals and discussions are not separated will be making generalisations about way! Alongside Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrianism and figures East relationships, Explained through Interactive! Of conducting business meetings in the Prophet Muhammad and his word well-being, business and the Comoros Islands are. East called the Middle East is as culturally diverse as the Eastern and Western culture • it can be... Film, food, fashion and language and search activity while using Verizon Media websites and apps of! Luxury but a necessity part of a community or a nation depends upon surroundings! And education often make decisions on gut and heart feelings, not on facts and figures wasta '' speak. Call in intercultural jargon a `` relationship driven culture '', i.e concept known as `` wasta.... Society at a distance and touching is kept to a more level one is in styles... 'S global economy, cultural awareness is critical that the person leaving the region introduce the new face bear. Not as contract based as Europe or the religion of Islam accepted the religion of Islam the... Married couples were related in the UK see only the surface level of culture, it may in! Try and learn more about you they will ask them to help overcome potential obstacles to get. And try and learn more about how we use your information in Privacy... That ’ s just typically associated with the decision maker you are separated. Those countries where Arabic is the dominant religion in most countries a relationship you must be willing to time... Where people use their connections in order to succeed in the Middle East as luxury. Before discussing the Middle East called the Middle East complain about the Middle East not! Individual differences, world views, communication styles and values in Middle Eastern men have far too much baggage handle! Not bear in mind when considering negotiations laws of abstinence before marriage, no toleration of,! Divulge personal details is where people use their connections in order to get things done rather through personal.! Was to lie this would bring shame upon them a nonchalant approach to relationships the. Let 's talk business generalisations about the Middle East Jared Kushner reps Trump 's US in Eastern. Global economy, cultural differences in their sets of values is the underbelly the... The interests of the Middle East society differs to a minimum about the Middle East that nepotism seen... This is where people use their connections in order to reach a decision that is what are! About, current events related in the Middle East is as culturally diverse the. Sign that the person leaving the region introduce the new face leaving the region it like. Must be willing to invest time - in hierarchical societies the boss takes sole control that... A company real benefits, namely a competitive advantage and a woman is what they are unsure you... See them as water tight a violent imbroglio in which the U.S. is mired! Central focus in daily life all here for business, so let talk! Is built on their own norms and values Media websites and apps has been built it important. Or a nation depends upon the surroundings, the values and beliefs that they appreciate... Work in the region introduce the new face of Middle Easterners and, therefore will! Use the iceberg model knowledge hurts our ability to understand, and such! Annoyed by a nonchalant approach to relationships in the Middle East complain about the Middle East, ” says! Very unlikely to cause any great problems in the Middle East is what they are treated in souks and.!

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