Arab Culture

arab tarab

Walk through any Arab neighborhood on any normal day and you’re no doubt going to hear the music of Oum Kalthoum playing through the windows of quite a few houses. Active from the 1920s until her death in the 1970s Oum Kalthoum was an Egyptian singer, songwriter, and film actress known for her vocal ability and unique style. So loved was she in the Arabic speaking countries of...

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Arab Culture and Traditions

Being Arab, like being an American, is a cultural trait rather than a racial one, and just as Americans are of mixed race, ethnic and religious backgrounds, so too are Arabs. Though they may be different from our own, it’s these cultural traits that define the Arab world’s values which is also the subject of today’s post. The Arab Population The Arab world is made up...

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Arab Culture: How Arabian Rugs Have Been Tying Rooms Together for Centuries

Arabian rugs seem to have had a special, sentimental place in homes all over the world for hundreds of years. In fact, it was the whole plot summary behind the 1998 Coen Brothers cult film, “The Big Lebowski”, where the story’s protagonist, Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski, seeks restitution for his ruined (and later stolen) Arabian rug and enlists his bowling buddies to help get it...

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The Role of Tea Arab Culture

We talk a lot about Arabic coffee in articles here on kaleela.com, but we certainly mustn’t overlook the important role that tea plays in Arab culture. Served to guests in the home, to business partners at meetings, and at social events, شاي عربي / shay arabiyy (Arabic tea) has been the Arab's beverage of choice for centuries. Tea in Arab Society Whether served with breakfast, after lunch,...

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dabka

If you’re invited to a wedding  or graduation celebration in Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Jordan, or Iraq, chances are that you going to also be invited to do the dabke (also dabka or debka). The dabke is an Arabic folk dance that started in the mountainous regions of the Levant where, legend has it, people in living in the towns and villages of these regions used...

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henna night

One great thing you’ll notice when you start to learn Arabic language skills is that it’s also a great way to start to immerse yourself in Arab culture while you’re learning.  Since this is the time of the year when most people are talking about the holidays, and since some cultures see December as a lucky month be a bride, today’s subject is going to...

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Arabic Vocabulary for Weddings

It’s that time of year when love is in the air in most Arabic-speaking countries and that can only mean one thing: If you met even a few Arab friends, you’re probably going to get a دعوة زفاف  daʻwat zifaaf  (wedding invitation) from at least one of them. So, to help you speak Arabic and feel a special part of the big day, we’re going...

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culture arab

It’s that time of the year again when wedding bells start ringing out all round the world. Well, that is, unless you live in the Arab world, where it’s that time of year when the zaghrootah (زغروتة) start trilling out throughout the region. “So, what is the zaghrootah?” you might ask.  Well it’s a kind of ululation  - a kind of a long, wavering, high-pitched shrill of...

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The Koofiyyih in Arab Culture

I’ll never forget the first time I saw someone wearing a Koofiyyih, the traditional Middle Eastern headdress fashioned from a square scarf.  It was a cold winter’s day in Amman, Jordan, and one my students was wearing this beautiful, traditional Palestinian black and white Koofiyyih around his neck. “Wow, that’s a beautiful scarf,” I said. “Where did you get it?” “Thanks, teacher. It’s a gift from...

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