In  the beginning were greetings, and greetings were with God.

Again, the Arab world is not a homogeneous entity. Meaning, what is socially and culturally correct is Bagdad is not necessary in Algiers.  However, when it comes to greetings it is more or less the same. Check the following:

  • When Arabs greet each other, they take their time and converse about their families, friends, and other general topics.
  • Stand to greet people, especially if they are older than you.
  • Handshakes are the customary greeting between individuals of the same sex.
  • You may see people continue to hold hands after the initial handshake that indicates a sign of warmth.
  • When meeting women, initially nod and wait to see if a hand is extended.
  • Some religious men/women  may not shake your hands – this is not a sign of disrespect but quite the opposite.
  • When entering a social function, shake hands with the person to your right and then continue around the room going from right to left. This may take a couple of minutes ! The same thing applies to saying goodbye.
  • when it comes to the OLD,  kissing  one’s forehead or right hand denotes extreme respect, but it is not acceptable for a male to kiss a female in this manner if they are not related.

What else? well, when asking for example how are you? How is your “health”? The usual answer is always “ great” thanks .



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