When in the Arab World: An insider's guide to living and working with Arab culture by Rana NejemWhen in the Arab World: An insider's guide to living and working with Arab culture by Rana Nejem

When in the Arab World: An insider's guide to living and working with Arab culture

byRana Nejem

Paperback | May 20, 2016

Pricing and Purchase Info

$25.44 online 
$32.50 list price save 21%
Earn 127 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


This book is a practical map that will help you understand the people and demystify the culture of the Arab world – the beliefs, values and social structures that determine how business is conducted and how things are done.

This is not a sterile list of dos and don’ts. This book will help you develop a deeper knowledge and understanding of the motivators of behaviour. It will also widen your perspective and arm you with the knowledge that will enable you to float with ease and confidence from one situation to the other. 

Title:When in the Arab World: An insider's guide to living and working with Arab cultureFormat:PaperbackDimensions:248 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.56 inPublished:May 20, 2016Publisher:Yarnu PublicationsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1911195204

ISBN - 13:9781911195207


Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION 1Why this book?Who would benefit from this book?Culture shockWhat is culture?Acceptance is keyI experienced it first handUnintended consequencesYalla, are you ready?1 WELCOME TO THE ARAB WORLD 13What is the Arab world?The Arabian GulfOil and GodThe Arab SpringTerrorismThe War on IraqThe Arab-Israeli conflictWhat I now know and wish I knew then2 SOCIETY IN THE ARAB WORLD 29The family and tribe: a social forceFamily and businessThe family is privateThe family and tribe: a political forceWhat is a Jaha?The generation gapWomen in Arab societyWomen in the workplaceThere is no honour in crime3 VALUES, BELIEFS AND VIEWPOINTS 48Honour, respect and reputationA different concept of honourSaving faceThe blame gameThe downsideRelationships and trustThe community and the individualWhat do you think?The ascribed statusWhat really mattersWork-life balanceThe wastaAvoiding conflictFaith and fateInshallahThe evil eye4 LIVING IN AN ISLAMIC COUNTRY 71What it means to be a MuslimThe Five Pillars of IslamFive daily prayersSunni and ShiaIslamic and Sharia lawUnique to Saudi ArabiaRamadanThe HajjReligious holidaysArab ChristiansReligious tolerance5 COMMUNICATION STYLES 88Directness and saving faceDirect talkFace to facePleasing the bossYes, no, I don't knowBad newsAgendas, meetings and presentationsThe condescending attitudeNegotiating and bargainingBody language and gesturesSilent or loudTopics of conversationStories and gossipConspiracy theoriesHumourLanguage and useful words6 DECISIONS, RISKS AND CONTRACTS 120A decision is madeKeeping the balanceCaution and riskRules and regulationsPutting it into contextContracts7 THE CONCEPT OF TIME 133Time or peopleIs it wasting time?Flexibility and the right timingMany things at oncePlans and planningPerception of deadlinesIt's urgentTime as statusTime and the past8 ETIQUETTE, PROTOCOL AND HOSPITALITY 148Names, titles and forms of addressGreetingsAppearance and dress codesPublic safetyRules on the roadIf you are involved in an accidentTaxis and busesHospitalityFood and guestsCoffee and teaAl Majlis, Diwaniya and DiwanCafés and restaurantsDogs and petsWeddingsGiftsFunerals9 SPORT, MEDIA AND THE ARTS 191SportThe mediaThe internet, mobile phones and social mediaFilm and television productionMusicDancePoetryArt10 BEFORE YOU GO 207APPENDIX: THE MOST POPULAR DISHES IN THE ARAB WORLD 213

Editorial Reviews

'The book's strength is that it has been written by an Arab practitioner, with deep knowledge of the customs and traditions of the Arab world. It is comprehensive in the areas it covers, and effectively uses testimonies from people around the world to make its points. It is essential reading for anyone wanting to live, work or study in this region.' Dr Marwan Muasher, director, Middle East Programme, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace'This guide is a must-read for anyone conducting business in the Middle East region. It expertly provides insight on Arab culture and business practices and even helps those with experience navigate what can otherwise be rocky waters. Nejem shares her own and others' stories in an enjoyable and accessible manner.' Per-Ola Karlsson, partner, Strategy&, part of the PwC network'A lively, insightful and expert guide for anyone spending time in an Arab country. A great shortcut to avoid the frustrations and enjoy the fascinations of this compelling region.' John Casson, British ambassador in Cairo and former foreign affairs private secretary to the prime minister 'The book is chock full of practical advice on the specificities of living and working in the Arab world yet it resonates broadly - far beyond the region. On the one hand, the book carefully guides the reader on important practices and traditions, even zooming in on variations in the distinct sub-regions of the Arab world. On the other hand, it provides valuable wisdom about getting along in a foreign culture that, with some modifications, could serve as a general guide for encountering new people and places throughout the world.' Melani Cammett, professor, Department of Government, Harvard University