The hospitality of Arabs is one of the biggest surprises for Westerners touring the Middle East. Whether it’s a stranger in the mall who bought remote control cars for my kids, or free meals, drinks, and extended conversations with someone I just met, the generosity of Arabs still surprises me after years of living in Jordan.
My brother recently visited us in Jordan and my Bedouin friend Abu Mohammad took us camping in Wadi Rum. When we left he handed my brother a beautiful Bedouin knife as a gift.
Later that day, after touring Petra, we stopped to have tea with a friend from the Ammarin Bedouin tribe. “Ahmed!”, my friend hollered to his son, “get my dagger out of my truck. I want to give it to our guest.” My brother, gifted with 2 knives in less than 12 hours, is now trying to think how he’ll get them back to the States.
Arab hospitality is something that even surprises Arabs! Nas, a recent Palestinian visitor to Jordan, made the below 1 minute video showing how he was treated by complete strangers. This wasn’t because Nas is Arab. As a foreigner in this land, I can attest that I have been shown the same hospitality.
Days like these, I am proud to be an Arab.