Monday, November 10, 2008

Understanding Arabs

1st order: Just recently I had a conversation with an Arab who explained to me the logic of Arabic societies. What are the mechanisms of social systems in Arabic countries?
- One can distinguish between two kinds of Arabs, either you belong to a tribe or not.
- The tribes are cross-border, membership is based on the father
- You will not be trusted, if you are not in a tribe. “Even if you are a citizen for 100 years”. Tribe membership guarantees trust. Trust is considered as the most important property in the region.
- The Bedouin mentality explains the “get as much as you can” attitude, because the Bedouin tribes used to live in rather humbled surroundings. The "show all what you have" attitude is a reference to the symbolism of manhood, I've been told.

1 comment:

  1. Tribal System is much more complicated and is deeply rooted in the Beduin (nomadic) life style and struggles over grazing and water locations.

    Status is a the most important aspect here! status is a function of wealth, power, influence, head count and land! and even if all these combined are at one tribe disposal! it could still be low on the rank of status! there are other social aspects involved like generosity, hospitality, whether or not the tribe has been shamed in the past (for some ill-dead) and probably the head of the tribe (sheikh) political/religious wisdom.

    The majority of arabs are tribal(the Levant,The Gulf, Irag,,,); i have to agree, with fewer countries with larger population that is not (i can only think of egypt right now and minorities called "bedon" or without in gulf states at the moment)!

    Being tagged as a tribal is an honor for one good reason; which is: your are of known and traceable origins! that is to speak your family tree is well known! i think you might guess why that counts! and i think this is what u meant by trust!

    I like your "get as much as you" understanding, though i think the attitude itself is a general human nature! but the "Over doing it" that you see here in this part of the world is much explained by what u've described especially that it is on luxuries when u most of the time they can barely afford necessities!