When you admire something that your Arab friends or colleagues are wearing, be careful with how you express your admiration, because Qatari hospitality is apparently no joke.
According to the latest Qtip from the I Love Qatar team, compliments can sometimes be confused with desire – i.e., if you say you like someone’s phone, that could be interpreted as you coveting it for yourself.
Such envy, culturally speaking, is something many Arabs are wary of.
Thus, to counter or resolve any feelings of jealousy – and to be kind – the person receiving the compliment may feel compelled to hand over the item in question.
Speaking to Doha News, ILQ co-founder Khalifa Saleh Al Haroon said:
“I’ve given a mobile, iPhone case, little trinkets, a pen, cuff links, and actually I even gave an expat my thobe!”
To successfully deliver praise – instead of inadvertently soliciting a gift – ILQ advises people to “Say mashAllah, say it looks better on you – it’s the right thing to do.”
Have you ever found yourself in an awkward situation due to a compliment? Thoughts?