On Understanding Arab Time

Arab Time

I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of time. It has forever been a struggle for me to manage it, especially with different values of time management being taught to me by different cultures.

Arab time doesn’t intend to disrespect other cultures by disregarding their more meticulous time management skills. The idea for Arab people in general is that the present item on the schedule is more important than future scheduled items. So if you’ve finally gotten the Arab person’s attention, he or she will not let the next item on their agenda take away their current time with you, that’s just rude! In other words, they are more present- and past-focused. They know the future will come, so why worry about it? ?? Anyway, can you blame them for not being future-oriented as much as some other cultures? After all, they never had to plan for an inevitable and unbearable cold winter.

*please note that the classification of cultural values in Cultural Intelligence is meant as a guideline to understanding different cultures and should never be used to define a culture or person of that particular culture.


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