Table manners in Yemen

in An Invitation to Laughter

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2007 | ISBN: 9780226434766
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226434759 | DOI:
Table manners in Yemen

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Following his research on Bahrain, the author began to do consultancy work in Yemen, Oman, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates. In Yemen (1980 and 1988) and in Oman (1982), he was a member of a World Bank team assessing the viability of various developmental projects. The author welcomed the opportunity not only for its financial rewards, but more importantly, because it provided him with a closer look at the Zaidis of Yemen and the Ibadis of Oman, two Islamic sects about which he had been reading a great deal while researching imams and emirs. During his first visit to Yemen, in 1980, the author was assigned the task of assessing local development associations and examining their capacity to effect change at a local level. To the Arabs, eating is a full-time job. Talking while eating, the “business luncheon,” is not appreciated; the dictum is “When you have had the meal, disperse.” The Lebanese overdo their hospitality by insisting that a guest keep on eating, even after he has had his fill.

Keywords: Yemen; research; Zaidis; Ibadis; Oman; local development associations; eating; Arabs; hospitality; Lebanon

Chapter.  5158 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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