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An Invitation to LaughterA Lebanese Anthropologist in the Arab World$
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Fuad I. Khuri and Sonia Jalbout Khuri

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780226434766

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226434759.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 11 April 2021

Table manners in Yemen

Table manners in Yemen

Eat! Do not talk!

(p.127) Twelve Table manners in Yemen
An Invitation to Laughter
University of Chicago Press

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

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