Monday, December 28, 2009

Time Notion

From KY:
The notion of time is vastly different between the arabic and the Western minds. Whereas time in Western societies is viewed as a precious commodity that must be maximized e.g. the French "ne reporte jamais a demain ce que tu peux faire aujourd'hui" (never delay to tomorrow what you can do today), the arabic mind is exactly about the 180 degree opposite: "Khalliya la boukra", "Kil shi byeje bi wa'to", "la n3ish la boukra" etc. etc... Time is relative and expandable. This is why for most of the arabic people I met, holding time is extremely difficult (despite gold Rolex watches stuffed with diamonds) and the notion of being on time (for a meeting for instance) is extremely foreign and I would say almost insulting... People will end up showing up, but way behind the agreed time ("tawwelle belak, hala' byeje, ana ba3rfo"). Also, being late is an indicator of how important you are. The more late you are, the more important you are, because people should wait for the most important person... Me! Inability to commit to time makes the society less efficient by the measure of each minute lost waiting for each other. It's a specific arabic problem: Turks for instance are usually on time. This is also why it is hopeless.

From RK:
Well that is not a uniquely Arab issue. Lack of discipline in accomplishing things is symptomatic of most third world countries and even exists to an extent in the developed world.

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