Personal Space

If you take any anthropology class one of the first things they'll teach you is how much Americans enjoy personal space and how little Arabs are aware of such a concept. If you take a train in Chicago it is almost guaranteed that each person with take up at least two seats (one for them and one for their bags). In America it is general knowledge that there needs to be a safe distance between two people engaged in a conversation. If you get in someone's face you are viewed as a big, creepy weirdo. In the Arab world, said distance is unheard of. Not only will they stand and talk to you at an uncomfortable nearness, but they will unabashedly ask you why you haven't plucked your eyebrows that day and freely suggest some home made cream that would remedy your enlarged pores. Do you see my point? As an Arab-American I've grudgingly succumbed to the multiple cheek kisses but after moving to Saudi, I've recently realized how much I refuse to relinquish my cherished personal space.

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