Are you planning to grow your business in the Arab world? Are you about to take up a new position in your company's offices based in Dubai, Kuwait, Amman or Cairo? Then you need to pay special attention to the significance of relationships in this culture.
As we rapidly approach the end of another challenging year, my mind strays once more to the Middle East North Africa (MENA
Freedom, right and wrong, honour and shame are not universal concepts. They mean different things to different people and their bases of reference are not the same across all cultures. Do not fall into the trap of assuming that women who do not drive or women who wear the veil are somehow oppressed and will 'see the light' once they learn more about Western gender equality.
It's hot in Haifa. So hot that it's hard to concentrate in the small basement room we're working in. I'm surrounded by artists, designers and other cool creative types from Haifa's Palestinian community...
We Europeans did nothing to help Tunisia achieve its revolution in January 2011. Yet, today, we can and must support the most successful of the Arab Spring countries - because we know that democracy can never be taken for granted.
The skateboarding scene in the Arab world is spreading far and wide. Now, dedicated skaters are close to building Jordan's first crowdfunded skatepark for refugees and local communities.
In countries where tipping is not the norm, the general understanding is that tipping is a reward for those who go above-and-beyond to offer a top-quality service. However, the Japanese, for example, suggest that the employer is paying good money for their staff to do precisely that - and surely that work ethic cannot be faulted.
With the Middle East's biggest players coming together under the US-led campaign against ISIS, I couldn't help but draw comparisons to Marvel's Avengers Assemble. While Obama can justifiably play the lead role of Nick Fury, is ISIS on the other hand as formidable as Loki? With the military capability of the GCC and Egypt alone, what chance does ISIS really have against a unified effort by neighbouring states?
Creativity is humanity's greatest renewable resource. Unlike any other resource, it grows the more it is used, an exponential value cycle that drives a nation's long-term development. When someone asks why culture matters, why events such as this month's Abu Dhabi Festival mean much to the UAE and the whole region, that is my answer.
'Activism' is a funny little thing. A word that by definition means an action to bring a social or political change. However, most define the word as helping the greater good by rebelling against an establishment of some sort. And everyone is aroused by a little rebellion.