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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: 21 April 2021

The Arab rich

The Arab rich

“An ugly horse that wins the race is praised for its good looks”

(p.147) Fourteen The Arab rich
An Invitation to Laughter
University of Chicago Press

The author conducted a study to capture the culture of the rich in Lebanon. Some general themes could be detected in relation to those who became rich through their association with emirs. As a rule, the Lebanese consider the possession of money to be of a higher moral value than the method of making it. The means are less important than the end. This has had a marked effect on the self-image of the rich. While accumulating wealth, a person acquires status and comes to be credited with wisdom, charisma, historic family origin, and above all good looks. The rich Arabs are good tippers but bad contributors to purpose-oriented charities, such as universities, hospitals, research institutions, and the like. In their investment endeavors in Western countries, Arab entrepreneurs are thought to be mysterious, difficult to approach, and to operate in a “wheels-within-wheels” fashion. In seeking to live luxuriously, the rich experience at once comfort and frustration.

Keywords:   rich, wealth, self-image, Lebanon, emirs, wisdom, good looks, Arabs, comfort, frustration

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