Iraq

Top 10 Things

  • What NOT to do
  • What to do
  • Do not speak critically of Islam or Islamic taboos (alcohol, pork, use of left hand, separation of the genders). Doing so can make you seem intolerant of the faith. --Nikhil
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  • Don't show the soles of your feet to someone in Iraq - it's extremely insulting, feet are seen as unclean body parts. --Archana
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  • Don’t to the ”thumbs-up” or ”A-OK” gesture - it’s considered obscene for older Arabs. --Nikhil
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  • Avoid telling crass or dirty jokes. Such humour is not appreciated in Iraq. --Nikhil
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  • Do not say anything that could be taken as insulting or derogatory --Nikhil
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  • Don’t forget to shake hands when greeting (men) - kisses on each cheek is also common. The number of kisses may vary. --Nikhil
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  • Displays of anger are a serious no-no. If you must show disapproval it is always best to do so in a one-to-one, quietly and with tact. --Nikhil
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  • Don’t make too long eye contact, especially to a woman if you are a man - it can be considered as harassment. --Nikhil
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  • Don’t point with a single finger - it's considered rude. Use the whole hand(s) instead. --Nikhil
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  • Do not patronise or talk down to an Iraqi for having poor English. --Nikhil
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  • The most common greeting is the handshake coupled with eye contact and a smile. --Nikhil
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  • If you are invited to an Iraqi’s home, bring a box of cookies, pastries or a box of chocolates. A fruit basket is also appreciated. --Nikhil
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  • Flowers are being given more and more but only to a hostess. --Nikhil
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  • If a man must give a gift to a woman, he should say that it is from his wife, mother, sister, or some other female relation. --Nikhil
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  • Gifts are given with two hands. Gifts are generally not opened when received. --Nikhil
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  • Handshakes can be rather prolonged; try not to be the first person to remove your hand. --Nikhil
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  • Check to see if you should remove your shoes when entering the home of your host. --Nikhil
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  • It is considered polite to leave some food on your plate when you have finished eating. --Nikhil
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  • Use the right hand for eating and drinking. --Nikhil
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  • Offer sympathy to their situation/the state of Iraq if the conversation arises. Acknowledgement of the difficulties endured are likely to be deeply appreciated. --Nikhil
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Top contributor: Nikhil (25 entries)

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