The United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Morocco, all these countries are for travelers. However, often travelers do not know what to expect on site and how they compared with the Native or in a public space. With the new book, “culture shock Islam,” which appeared in the Reise Know-How Verlag, clarifies the author Susanne Thiel about the different manifestations of Islam and its cultural impact. For many years the author lived in the context of development assistance in Arab countries and works as a trainer for intercultural communication. In her book she gives travellers tips on topics such as alcohol consumption, Photograph as well as appropriate clothing and also on different and even contradictory forms. FOCUS Online presents five tips from her book.

Reise Know-How Verlag

culture shock Islam by Susanne Thiel, Reise Know-How Verlag, 2018, EUR 14.90 buy Now at Amazon!

1. Alcohol is banned in Islamic countries?

According to General legal opinion, it is forbidden to Muslims, the consumption of alcohol. The Qur’an exhorts the believers not to appear drunk to prayer, in some verses, alcohol is referred to as the sin and Satan.

alcohol sales and consumption is handled in the Islamic countries. The range extends from a very tolerant approach to the narcotics, the responsibility of the individual believer is transferred, up to a total sale and consumption ban, which also includes Muslims. /free mixer

In some Islamic countries the consumption of alcohol is not a problem

In Central Asia, Indonesia, Turkey and some Islamic countries of Africa, the consumption of alcohol is both for Locals as well as travelers unproblematic. In Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan or Kyrgyzstan, the vodka is even in every social round. In the countries of South Asia, such as Iran, Afghanistan or Pakistan, and most Arab countries, alcohol consumption is forbidden, however, for Locals and for foreigners legally in the Public domain is not available.

Here should keep travelers outside the hotel walls to the consumption prohibition for the entry of alcohol to introduce. But even in countries with strict regulations is often consumed behind closed doors and alcohol to the part of self-brewed or burned.

in a country with very strict Islamic rules, such as Pakistan, there are very well-stocked home bars – however, this luxury is limited to wealthy circles. Generally, travelers is recommend a very sensitive to the local conditions adapted to dealing with alcohol. Especially in the month of Ramadan in the daytime and in Public, no alcoholic beverages should be consumed. Loss of control due to drinking alcohol is also frowned upon in the more liberal countries, so that there is almost never Drunk in the street.

2. Shake hands or kiss on the Cheek? What about greeting rituals, need to know

In most Islamic societies is a detailed and warm welcome is customary. The question as to the well-being of a person and his family stands in the foreground. Some long query and have developed rituals, which take several minutes to complete. Accompanied salutations of hands are shaking, hugging, cheek kissing and other physical forms of expression, which can differ in the individual countries from each other. /LeoPatrizi The greeting rituals in Arab countries are very different

Due to prevailing notions of morality and a partially strong gender distance in some Islamic countries, physical contact between men and women are not held during the welcome. Should visitors feel at home in this context is uncertain, do a verbal greeting, a friendly Smile, the pointed bow with a Tilt of the head or the right Hand on the heart also.

Towards higher-ranking individuals, such as spiritual dignitaries, should visitors to be respectful and distant-friendly. When greeting a wait-and-see is recommended stance, as it is not always in this circle of people is common to reach out for others. The Assumption of local customary behavior of the kiss on the Hand, the deep bow (of the feet of the person of authority, etc.) are usually not necessary and would, of foreigners, even strange. Here are the journey-Newsletter

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3. Just a small gift – why you are a beggar not a

should ignore The charity and the distribution of alms, are one of the most important religious rules, and are one of the five pillars of Islam. Zakat, the obligatory donation, shall annually be paid, in most countries, no organizational constraints. In addition to these compulsory donations and voluntary contributions as a honorable to apply and are a requirement of piety.


charity and the distribution of alms, are one of the most important religious rules of Islam

Even if beggars can sometimes be very offensive and troublesome to appear, and also organized groups of beggars occur in columns, they should be treated with respect. A small charitable gift for the Old and frail, or beggar in front of shrines and mosques is not a burden on the travel budget.

4. "Aib": This word alone should be able to traveller women to know

Non-veiled women move freely on the streets, in Offices and shops, or even driving a car, be in some Islamic countries, still the exception, attract a lot of attention. Particularly interesting for the (male) population are foreigners on the inside. In rural areas, where people have little contact with Strangers, travellers, women a lot of attention.

The constant observation and the “Stare” are perceived by most women as a nuisance and very annoying. They are determined and confident and let the rigid, not to bring Looks from the rest. Avoid provocative reactions. /iStockphoto/Ross, Helen women, especially women traveling alone should be careful

they don’t Run alone through the cluttered bazaars or unfamiliar parts of town or areas. You should be bothered, ask passers-by, elderly men or shop owners, which can revoke the mostly young troublemakers to order.

The small Arab word ” aib ” (shame) can act in the Arab world wonder. According to, it can help “Levels” to his Senses, and the attention of the bystanders to Wake. Are you prepared for them, that car driving harassment of women and rüdem (traffic)behaviour.

5. Attention, camera: Why it’s important, people scan never ban without permission

Due to religious and social ideas, such as the Islamic Images and the seclusion of women, some of the Muslims in the Photograph critically. Men and especially little boys posing in General, but for photos – the Smartphone culture and the social networks have certainly contributed to changes.

Still, Photographing people – and particularly women – only with their permission. Resourceful Locals have discovered the photographic pleasure of the visitors as a source of income and ask for a donation so that they can be readily photographed. /iStockphoto/mrtom-uk mosques photography is allowed – but never, ever the faithful during the prayer

represents A further sensitive area are religious institutions and would scan carrier: mosques as tourist attractions, not a Problem, but in the current mosque operation should be no recordings of Mullahs, imams, or prayer. Such behavior could be considered harassment, because in the mosque at the moment of the devotion against the Islamic prohibition of Images is in breach of (or any visitor to the Christian worship would not love to pray standing in the flashlights of tourists).

In the case of members of the police and the military, you should likewise restraint, because of the sensitivities could be; military installations, airports or similar public facilities are, as in most countries – for photographers taboo.

In the FOCUS Online/Wochit NAP and read the newspaper? What pilots on long flights, really cs, Islam, Egypt, Morocco make

Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.