Warning: 8 ways you will offend Arabs in just 4 words
By: Leyal Khalife
Arabs … it’s in our nature to easily take offence, even at something as simple as a four-word phrase.
Always remember that once you offend us, we will never ever forget. And you will never be able to make it up to us.
Here’s your guide to what NOT to say when speaking to an Arab:
1. Oum Kulthum is overrated
Do not ever come near our legends. Ever.
Oum Kulthum, Fairouz, Abdel Halim Hafez are just a few names you should just never mention unless you’ve got something positive to say.
If you don’t have something good to say, just don’t say it.
2. Hummus with a fork
Hummus and forks can never go in the same sentence. Really, the only word that complements hummus is pita or bread.
Fork, spoon, knife … just leave hummus alone!
3. Koussa is very 3ade
When it comes to food, we’ll take your opinion very personally. Like really personal.
And we’re extra sensitive when it comes to food stuffed with rice and lahme.
Koussa, batenjan, wara enab … don’t even think about saying these meals aren’t delicious.
4. Hey, are you Arabic?
No, I’m not a language, thank you very much.
5. I want to pay
If you’re dining with an Arab, just don’t bother arguing over the bill – especially if you’re visiting the country for the first time.
Of course, offer to pay, but once your Arab friend tells you they’ve got it covered, politely thank the person and move on.
Do not, I repeat do not, argue with him or her … unless you want to engage in a little UFC fighting.
6. Arab and fair-skinned?
7. I am not hungry
Saying you’re not hungry when offered food by an Arab is practically an insult.
You will hear comments like:
Why? Are you disgusted?
Even if you’re not hungry, just take whatever is being offered to you and force it down your throat – or else!
8. I dislike pita bread
Pita bread is basically our life. We check to see if there’s enough stocked up in the fridge, take it with us to places where we won’t be able to buy it … and of course eat it with almost everything – even pasta!
We’ve even invented our own version of the hamburger, which is served inside a pita bread.
Also chocolate hazelnut spread inside pita bread is our very own kind of crepe!