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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
  Holy Books.
• 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
Making appointments
• 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
  hour late.
• 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
  your spouse.
• 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
  military officers.

• '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.
Public Behavior

• Loud voices mean strong emotions; hate or
  love, grief or elation, etc.

• Large gestures are considered uncultured or

• Communication is nearly impossible without
  small gestures.

• 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.
Eye Contact

• 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

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