Hi Salim! Welcome you to our weekly show Culture Rendezvous. First of all, what is the concept of the Arab world?
Now, let me explain. People speak Arabic language and live in Arabic world. The collection of Arab countries in the world is also known as the Arab world, Arab nations, Arab states, or the Arab homeland. This is made up of 22 Arab countries. For example, the countries located in North Africa like Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Somalia, Sudan. And some countries located in the South West of Asia like Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain. 22 Arabic countries located in the Middle East, people sometimes call Arabic countries the Middle East. But the Middle East can include Iran, Turkey, which are not Arabic countries.
|Salim Hammad. ( Photo courtesy of Salim Hammad)
Well now I know an interesting fact: The Middle East is not the Arab world. As it is called the Arab world, is there a common language among the 22 Arabic countries?
Each country of the Arab world has some mutual cultures. We all speak the same language called the Arabic language but we have different dialects, different accents. We also have different ways to express about our feelings, but of course, all of us can understand each other well. The countries located in South or North Africa have been affected by French language. Sometimes, it is hard to understand them.
|Map of the Arab world. (Photo: Internet)
The Arab world has a common language, so what about your culture?
About the culture, we have a lot of different cultures. We have Islamic or Arabic culture but each country still has its own culture, own dresses, own scarves. They have their own way to cook their food. And as you know, it is the Arab world, it has 22 countries, so it is rich of culture. Even in one Arabic country, you can find the difference between the North and the South.
Having been living in Vietnam for more than nine years, have you found any similarities in the culture of the two countries?
When I talk about Palestinian culture, I feel happy because I found many similar things with Vietnamese culture. For example, the Tet holiday, we have two New Year events. We have one called Eid Al Adha and one is Eid Al Fitr, the small new year, which comes after Ramadan month. We celebrate and we feel happy because we can eat and drink after one month of feasting. We also happy as we are welcoming the New Year. We also have a third new year celebration, which everybody knows, the global New Year. People know that Christianity was born in Palestine. It is the country and the mother land of Jesus.
If I have the chance to visit Palestine someday, what should I explore?
Palestine has different culture, different religions like Christianity, Muslim, and Jewish. Palestine has a lot of things to talk about as it is just a small country located between Egypt and Africa. Our North is close to Europe. The location of Palestine is really great and that’s why Palestine has a lot of wars, a lot of conflicts from a very long time ago, about 3,000 years ago until now. There are many details, many more beautiful things to talk about Palestine, and to talk about the Arab world. I promise to talk more about the culture, the different things of Palestine as well as other countries of the Arab world in the next show.
Thank you very much Salim for talking to us today. Hope to have you here with us again on VOV24/7 Culture Rendezvous with more interesting stories.