Afghanistan and Iraq Culture Information

I am looking for comments from active duty, government civilian and contractor personnel that have been deployed to the Middle East. I am looking for cultural information. How to conduct meetings with Villiage elders, Mufti’s, etc. Shaking hands, meeting and greeting and just plain etiquette. I am really interested in the womans point of view.

So if  you have experience of this kind please stop by and drop me a line, I would truly love to talk to you about this.

Thank You! Smokeybones

Middle East Expatriates, Expats…

I am looking to introduce myself to as many Middle East Expatriates expats as I can. I try to understand as much as I can about the true cultural aspects of the Middle East as I can.

If you’ve lived overseas or are currently living overseas I would love to tap into you brain, asking a few questions now and then and maybe receiving some information on the Middle East from someone I would consider would be a true Subject Matter Expert.

If you are so inclined as to help me occasional, please stop by and leave me a comment. Thank you very much

Smokeybones

Afghanistan, Iraq

If you have spent some time conducting meetings with village elders in Afghanistan I would like to here of some of your experiences. What is the proper protocol for conducting meetings. How do the Afghani’s feel about talking to Americans or Westerns. Did the meetings go ok were there any problems that you encountered?

Please, military members, government personnel, NGOs, State Department, contractors, if you’ve been to Afghanistan or Iraq or other Middle East countries, I would like some of your incite.

Meetings in a Village in Iraq or Afghanistan

You say “Salam ua lakum” while placing your right hand to your heart, then shake hands with everyone in the meeting.

You are then brought to the head of the sitting area, farthest away from the door and placed in the seat of honor (to the right of the Sheik). You sit as best you can, usually cross legged so as not to expose the soles of your shoes to anyone.

You start light conversation with your host, through your terp (interpreter) while the youngest male children brings you and the rest of your team some fantastic tea.  Conversation continues for quite some time, you feel like you are finally making some progress in meeting with this head man of the surrounding area, and so it goes another day of winning hearts and minds.

For active duty military, government workers, PRT team members, civilian contractors, please if you’ve conducted meetings with both Iraqi and Afghani leaders please tell me about it. I would love to know the particulars and how it went, what were your experences…

Middle East Burial Practices

Please help. What is the Middle East burial practice for the body. Is the body ever taken to the Mosque? I understand that the body is not normally brought into a Mosque.  Thanks

Active Duty Military, Government & Contractors

If you’ve been deployed or have traveled recently to any country in the Middle East (especially Afghanistan, Iraq). I would like to collect information about the culture, cultural Do’s and Don’t, and more. If you have experienced something new, something you did not know about  and would like to share it, please post it. I really would like to compile as much information on Cultural Etiquette etc as I can. Thanks