When someone lives in places unknown to him or her, lots of observation, learning and adjustment will have to take place. Adapting ones self to the new environment, customs, traditions and others are important factors to living a life other than you had known. If a person lived in the Middle East or Gulf State countries for more than a decade, there will be lots of things and events that could have happened. Things that were amazing, events that were scary and most of all peaceful living.
These three things come into someone’s mind who had lived in the “Middle East or Gulf States”. It is a place composed of different countries/ Gulf States with amazing geographical sights and views different from other places. For their dress code, most men usually wear white trouser or serwal, ghutra (ghutra is usually checked red and white or plain white used to cover their head) and uggal which is the black ring used to hold the ghutra or head cover. They put on the “Dishdasha,” usually white, grey or black, with straight cut pattern. It is worn on top of their shirt or serwal. Serwal is like an underpant. The women wear the normal dress for women then wear the “Abaya.” It is a black loose dress with embroideries or decorative patterns around the neckline, as well as at the side and at the bottom of the dress. It is worn on top of their dress and a veil to cover their faces.
For food, most of them eat food namely shawarma, mashboos, biryani, harris, fish and rice. When it comes to greetings, Arabs have different ways of speaking Arabic. Their Arabic languages differ from one Arabic country to another. Arabic countries like Egypt, Morocco, Libya, Algeria,Tunisia, Lebanon, Palestine, Sudan, Iraq, Gulf States such as; Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates,Bahrain and Oman) speak different Arabic languages but there are Arabic countries that can understand each other with the common Arabic language being spoken by most Arabic. For example: Greeting like: “Salam alaykum” and the response is “Alaykum salam” is being used by most Arab countries. But when you say How are you? the common Arabic phrase is “Kephalak” (address to a man, “Kephik” (address to a woman), the response will varies accordingly. In Qatar it is “Zein” or “Mamnoon”, In Egypt it is “Tammam” or “Kuwaisa” for woman, “Kuwais” for men. In Iraq, How are you in Arabic will be “Slonik ente (address to a woman), “Slonek enta” address to a man. Arabic scribble or write their words starting from right towards left. They count numbers like: one-wahad, two-etnein, three-talata, four-arba, five-kamsa, six-sita, seven-sabah, eight-tamanya, nine- tisaa and ten- ashara etc.
The sands, sand dunes, deserts, camel, donkeys, Mediterrenean Sea, Nile River, etc. relates as parts of Middle Eastern terrain. The Pyramid in Egypt was unbelievable too. You can see the size of the blocks of stone which were huge and just imagine how they were laid one on top of the other to build a Pyramid. Riding a camel is very exciting and at the same time scary. When it comes to religion, Islam is dominantly practice throughout the Arab world. You can hear the “Call to Prayer”from sun break to sundown in a loud speaker from the Mosque starting with a phrase “Allah Akbar…….” ( God is Great).
When people hear the Call to Prayer, you will start seeing Muslim people leaving their job or going out of their homes proceeding to the Mosque to gather and pray. The prayer last for 5 to 10 minutes. When they praying they have to face the Quiblah( a direction towards Mecca in Jeddah). In the hotel you will find rooms designated only for praying, whether for guest or employees. During the period of Ramadan, Muslim fast and abstain from food and water from sun break to sundown for 30 days. It is very important that expatriates who are non-Muslim respect the people who were fasting by not showing themselves eating or drinking and even smoking within their sight. Muslims call their “Bible,” Holy Quran. It is well respected and handled with utmost care.
Arabic countries and Gulf States have multi national expatriates. Most of them are contract workers from the category of oil drilling contractors, builder contractors, laborers, hotel managers and workers, doctors, nurses, accountants, technicians, teachers and many others. Contract workers usually comes from India, Sri lanka, Philippines, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Africa, Egypt, Europe, England, Russia, U.S. and others are minority. Most Arabs that I met were polite, reserve and educated. Most children in the Gulf Countries were sent outside for higher education like Europe, America and others. It is important that when you live in the Middle East or Gulf States, that customs, traditions and religion are observed and respected.