• David Grammig

Some Surprising Things The Middle East And Latin America Have In Common

WHY BUILDING BRIDGES MIGHT BE EASIER THAN EXPECTED


On the face of it, you might not think the Middle East and Latin America share many similarities. With their vastly different landscapes, history, architecture, faith and culture, they appear to be worlds apart. However, if you scratch the surface, these regions share many deep and significant elements, and its these synergies which will help to build stronger and stronger bridges between the two.


Here are just a few of the things over which Latin America and Middle Eastern people can very easily bond, from the fun to the profound.


MIGRATION


There has been historic migration from the Middle East to Latin America since the 19thCentury. Brazil in particular saw an influx of Lebanese and Syrian people from the 1890s onwards. This has led to a merging of cultures in some areas of Latin America which would lead many new visitors from the Middle East to feel instantly at home.



PATRIOTISM


Regardless of the fact that each region believes itself to be the strongest and best in every way, both share a passion for their home that is admirable and all – consuming. With this enthusiasm for championing their home countries, residents of both the Middle East and Latin America share an equal and admirable depth of feeling.


FAMILY VALUES


The family is at the heart of both the Latin American and Middle Eastern cultures in a way that is unparalleled elsewhere in the world. Traditional family values underpin the daily life of people in both regions, and every choice an individual make – whether personal or professional – is affected by its links to the family and home.


HOSPITALITY


A pride in hospitality is central to the cultures of both regions, and in this sense, they easily match each other as hosts. Extreme generosity towards guests is standard, and hosts pride themselves in treating visitors with a great deal of warmth and respect, no matter who they might be.


YOUNG POPULATIONS


Both regions have relatively youthful populations, with all the potential and energy that brings. In this respect, both the Middle East and Latin America are at a similar advantage when it comes to their dynamic and enthusiastic workforce and global outlook.



STRONG RELIGIOUS BELIEFS


Although the primary religion in Latin America is Catholicism, while the Middle East practises Islam, both regions are driven by a strong faith that permeates every aspect of their culture. Despite the fact that these two religions are different, this shared sense of faith can actually serve to generate a greater understanding between the two regions.


FOOTBALL


Not quite as strong an influence on culture as religion, nonetheless football is an important unifier between the two regions. Both are equally enthusiastic and passionate about the sport, and no doubt any two strangers from each region could pass many hours talking about it. The next World Cup will be held in Qatar, which for many Latin American football fans will give them their first chance to visit the Middle East for a major football tournament.


The post orignally apeared in Alea Journal