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Culture differences in the Arab world - Essay Example

According to the US Army Training and Doctrine Command (1), “the Arab world stretches from Morocco across Northern Africa to the Persian Gulf. The Arab world is more or less equal to the area known as the Middle East and North Africa. Although this excludes Somalia, Djibouti, and the Comoros Islands which as part of the Arab world”. The 22-state and territory wide society has numerous similarities in terms of customs and traditions; however, the disparity brought by the divergence between urban, rural and nomadic areas, colonization and traditional loyalties particularly in the aspects of religion, ethnic and kinship has led to notable differences in the cultural makeup of the Arab people (Barakat 4). While shared culture is the key to the national identity of Arabs in terms of their way of life, beliefs, traditions, and artistic achievements among others, Barakat (42) maintained that the dynamism of the Arab world “reflects diversity, pluralism, and contradictions”. The uniqueness and specificity of Arab societies are rooted from the multi-level cultural foci of its territories formed by subcultures, countercultures and radical groups as influenced by different patterns of living, social formations, social class, religious attachments and ethnicity. In addition, colonization and geographical location are major contributors of culture differences in the Arab world. ...
However, Saudi Arabia, though slightly split by the Ottoman Empire, was able to achieve a unified front over recent years. Also, the Arab culture is defined by three distinct parts such as the urban culture or Al-Hadar, the rural culture or Al-Reef and the nomad culture or Al-Badow (Barakat 30). For example, Algeria belongs to the urban culture. Being strongly influenced by Islam traditions, Algerian language is generally of Berber Arabic and its literature encompasses philosophies and novels that are inclined to the Muslim faith. Algerian cuisine is attributed to the cooking styles of conventional Arab, French and Turkish fares, with additional flavors from Spanish, Italian and Jewish dishes. Moreover, Algeria’s urban lifestyle can be observed in modern choices in music like hip hop, yet still maintaining customary Berber music traditions. Sports is also highly promoted, as exemplified by numerous Olympic and world championship medals in different fields like athletics, football, basketball, boxing and many others (Gannon 31-45). On the other hand, the rural culture of Yemen features typical ancient customs that profoundly embrace Islam. Its central religion is solely Islam, comprised of the Sunni and Shi’a groups. Music is predominantly of traditional pan-Arab and Yemenite Jew influences, while their cuisine offers a distinctive twist as their food are greatly inspired by Ottoman Turkish flavors, due to the former occupancy of the said conquerors. Football is most popular but sports vary from water sports like sailing, swimming and surfing to outdoor sports such as skiing, biking and rock climbing suitable to the geographic location of the country (Gannon 66-73). Meanwhile, nomad or Bedouin culture as epitomized by Jordan shows an entirely ...Show more
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Name Institution Instructor Date Culture Differences in the Arab World The Arab world is a civilization comprised of a vast and rich collection of history, culture and politics of several independent nation-states which shows both unity and divisiveness in social reality…
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