How to be respectful to the Arab Culture

How to properly entertain Arabs in your home

According to Margaret Nydell, author of Understanding Arabs, (Nydell in the Arab world “generosity to guests is essential for a good reputation.”  Therefore, it is necessary that when entertaining Arabs at dinner you reflect this same generosity and hospitality.  Here are some tips to keep in mind:

-Welcome each guest as they enter with a vocal welcome; Shake their hands and invite them to sit down

-Be aware that in Arabic culture it is not rude to be late, so be flexible with the evening’s schedule

-Keep your pets out of sight throughout the evening. 

-Give special attention to the elderly, attending to their comforts first.

-Remain with your guests as often as possible; do not leave the room unless absolutely necessary

-Provide an abundance of food; make sure there is enough for seconds and thirds.

-Encourage your guests to eat as much as they would like. 

-When selecting your menu, remember that Muslims do not eat pork or consume alcohol, even when it is cooked into the dish.  Also try to prepare foods that are familiar to them.*

-It is customary to serve coffee and/or tea following the meal.

When the evening is over, accompany your guests to their car and shake hands in farewell.

*A wikipedia summary of Arab culture with a description of Arab Cuisine at the bottom of the page: