The Lebanese culture does not enshrine the custom of “western privacy.” It magnifies the custom of serving others, “showing great hospitality” to others at one’s own expense. So the lines between people’s “private matters” tend to be blurred. The westerner is slanted towards his rights, his boundaries, his life, his property. Not so with the Middle Easterner. Service, sacrifice, unselfish sharing are the norm for them! Richard once commented that the Arabic language did not have a proper word for “privacy” simply because there was no privacy! Kathleen was humorously shocked by some of the very personal questions posed to her but the ladies meant no harm; they were just curious so they asked! When being shown the home, some curious souls would open the closet door and look at all her dresses!
Leave a Reply