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The Arab culture has always been criticized by the westerns as uncivilized and barbaric. On the other side, the Arabs thought of the westerns as infidels and unwise people. This led to a great deal of conflicts between the two cultures, which remain until this moment. It is a meaningless question to ask which culture is better, but a more definite question is which culture is better at what? The western culture for example appears to be more successful in business, economics, science, liberty values and retains a higher standard of living than those of Arab cultures. While the Arab culture appears to have a more emphasized moral approach, which appears in the low rate of crime and social problems such as divorce, drug addiction and so forth when compared to the western culture. Yet while living in the globalization age both cultures are forced to adopt each one’s ideas and beliefs , but what it could be the values and ideas that westerns will borrow from Arabs and those that Arabs will borrow from westerns.
Most of people will think that there is not much to benefit from the Arab culture. This is totally misleading and not based on any facts, the westerns can benefit tremendously from the Arab culture in numerous ways. Signs of adopting social manners are starting to appear in the western cultures as many families are starting to encourage social ties and habits of those of the Arabs. Many western parents are encouraging their children to stick to their religion and behave according to it. As a result, the rate of teen pregnancy and divorce rate and drug addiction has recently decreased in many western countries. Moreover they westerns are starting to appreciate the value of family ties, larger family size and increased number in-laws is a sign of adoption of Arab beliefs. Day after day, more morals and values are embraced by the westerns from the Arab culture.
On the other side, the Arabs believe they have a lot to gain from the western culture. They started to take on the westernized practical way of living; and are beginning to liberate their societies and acquire business and economic experience from the westerns. Several examples of westernization reside in the economy of the Arab countries. The adoption of the “free market economy” is one of the most noticeable examples; other methods of western methods in running countries policies are also adopted. While on the social level Arabs seems to be exchanging roles with the westerns. As they are starting to leave the ideas of family ties and change to the less family size and a more materialistic view, as the rate of marriages are starting to decrease in most of the Arab countries. Furthermore, the rate of crime is increasing as the Arabs begin to leave their strong religious ties and beliefs. Moreover, Arabs are adopting the manners that the western are trying to abandon now such as premarital sex and divorce.
In conclusion, both Arabs and westerns need each other, but they must think of what beliefs should be adopted and not to romanticize each other. Moreover, time will show us if the morals and religious beliefs can co-exist with materialistic achievements or it is a companion for only the poor and less developed cultures.
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Middle East, North Africa, Arab League, Arab, Arabs, Western, Arab culture, Arab world
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