Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What NOT to say when meeting a Yemeni

When I was living in Washington, I was not surprised when people did not know Yemen.  But when traveling in the Arab world I EXPECT that my fellow Arab citizens know a little about Yemen.   

This is friendly advise for my fellow Arabs. When meeting a Yemeni person please do not do ask them any of the following (and yes I was asked these questions!):

  • -       Do not ask them if they speak Arabic in Yemen! (it is the ONLY language we speak.)
  • -       Do not be surprised and then say, “nooo you can’t be Yemeni, because the Yemenis I have seen are not good looking”.  (That is NOT a compliment!)
  • -       Do not confuse Yemenis with khaleejis (people from the Gulf).  Yemen is not part of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
  • -       Do not ask the person if they can supply you with “qat”.


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