National flag of Jordan
The importance of religion
• About 95 percent of the people of Jordan are
Muslim. Most of the other five percent are
• References to the teachings of the Koran or
the Bible are often made to justify or explain
action taken or a position held in
• It is of utmost importance to treat religion
respectfully. A high percentage of the
population will be offended by flippant or
negative remarks concerning God or the
• A genuinely respectful attitude is highly
regarded in the Jordanian culture. It is
one of the marks of a mature person.
• Another highly respected trait is
keeping one's word.
• It is also very important not to cause
• Business as well as works slow down
during the holiday month in winter and
the month of Ramadan.
• Sunday through Thursday constitute
the business week.
• Be punctual, but you’re a typical
Jordanian may be more than a half
• Try keep your voice down.
A loud voice can be considered
domineering, or as a loss of control, and
On the other hand, Jordanians can be very
emotional in their conversation. Feel free
to show some emotion but don't raise your
voice when you do.
• Most Jordanians like to talk about religion.
If you have definite religious convictions, feel
free to discuss them.
• In Jordanian culture, it is quite normal to
talk about such things as your wages,
how much you pay for things like rent or
clothing and how old you are.
On the other hand, it is considered
impolite to discuss your relationship with
• Avoid cutting or derogatory humour--
even with very close friends.
Humour that is based on personal put-
downs, jabs, sarcasm and such things is
not well accepted.
Some Arabic general titles of respect :
'Ya Sidi' [pronounced yah see_ dee]. This is the
most general title of respect. Informally, it can be
used with anyone of roughly the same social
• 'Ya 'Ammo' [pronounced yah 'um_ mow]. This is an
informal general title of respect used to refer either
to someone a generation older or a generation
younger than you.
• 'Ya Bek' [pronounced yah bake_]. This is a general
formal title of respect especially used for police and
• 'Ya Doctor' [pronounced yah doc tour_]. This
general and a bit formal title of respect can be used
to ascribe learning and general social awareness.
Titles in English that show respect:
• Social: Mr., Miss., Mrs., Ms.
• Educational: Dr., Engineer, Lawyer,
• Political: Member of Parliament,
Senator, our/His Honour
• Judicial: Your/ His Honour, Judge
• Business: CEO, Gen. Manager
• Religion: Bishop, Minister
• Dear Engineer Khalid Obeidat,
• 'Mr. Khalid, how are you?'
• 'Ya Sidi, want to have lunch together?'
• Mr. Khalid will be representing our interests
• Engineer Khalid Obeidat's contribution to
setting up the Jordanian project was
excellent and we look forward to a
successful business relationship.
• Loud voices mean strong emotions; hate or
love, grief or elation, etc.
• Large gestures are considered uncultured or
• Communication is nearly impossible without
• Quiet voices are a sign of respect and
Touch [between men]
• Stand closer than most westerners are used to. For
Americans, use about half the distance that is
normal for you.
• Patting or holding the arm or shoulder can be a sign
of affection, acceptance, or offered assistance. It
also usually indicates that the initiator of the action
is dominant in the relationship at that moment.
• Slapping hands is a kind of cheer, sort of like 'Way to
go, right on.' It usually indicates affectionate
relationship and equality.
• Holding hands indicates emotional attachment and
is appropriate in same sex relationships that are
close, either like a 'father and son' or brothers. It
does not have sexual connotations.
Men and Women
• It is right to let the woman indicate what level
of contact is appropriate. Generally, follow
her lead in directness and style of
conversation, eye contact, and standing
• In general, even married men and women do
not touch in public. However, in some
circles, it is now becoming acceptable.
• In transacting business or during
conversation, Jordanians generally make eye
contact while talking. An avoidance of eye
contact makes others feel uncomfortable
toward you and they may question your
• On the street or in general public places,
don't seek eye contact with members of the
opposite sex as it may be seen as an
invitation to an inappropriately intimate