As an Arab, it is safe to say that there are many moments you’ll face in your day to day life that showcase the beauty and hilarity of Arab culture. These moments are infused with classic Arab tropes of over hospitality and cordiality. For a good laugh, read on to unravel the hilarious quirks that make Arab culture so great.
The Bill Fight
One time, my dad and I went out with some family friends at a new restaurant in Cairo. Things took a hilarious turn when it was time to pay the bill. Before the waiter could even place the bill on the table, my dad and his friend hurled themselves towards it like two lions on the hunt. It’s basic Arab courtesy to pay for the entire table and let’s just say my dad got the upper hand.
The Gradual Shuffle
While at my aunt’s house, it was time to leave and so my mum picked up her bag and said it’s time to go. Instead of getting up, what happened was that she continued having a conversation with my aunt. A bit later, she said again we’ll leave and even shuffled forward a bit to get ready to get up but never did. The conversation continued once again, and she kept repeating this behavior until we eventually left which, get this… an hour later.
I once got invited to a distant relative’s house. I haven’t seen her in years and let me tell you, she gave me a real warm welcome. When I entered the dining room, it took me a minute to register the amount of food on the dining table. She made me eat two rounds of molokhia, mahshi and stuffed pigeons and of course there was also the hefty dessert round. Let’s just say that Arab hospitality really does need a big appetite.
The Awkward Extra Kiss
Among Arabs, it’s common courtesy to greet one another with at least two kisses on alternating cheeks. But, sometimes, some people like to go the extra mile for an added level of affection. One day, my sister and I went out shopping with relatives at a mall. When we met up and I was greeting my aunt, I went for the classic two kiss move but for some reason, my aunt was extra affectionate and went in for a third. There we were, me trying to push back, her pulling me closer for another kiss while both of us awkwardly staring into each other’s eyes. To this day, I am still recovering from that moment.
Upping The Noise Factor
At a backyard restaurant, we invited the entire family to celebrate my grandpas birthday. We were all very energetic and talkative especially as we haven’t seen each other in a long while. Throughout that night, there was everything from raucous laughter, a cacophony of intersecting conversations and the giggle of kids chasing each other in the garden. Let’s just say that our energy was so infectious that other restaurant goers ended up joining in on the celebration.
These are just a few of the hilarious moments many Arabs experience that are prime examples of their unique culture. Each of these stories showcase the amount of kindness and respect Arab friends and family can have for one another but at the same time, they make for great dinner table stories that will have everyone laughing their socks off.