If you are planning to go to Iraq for work, please be guided that there are certain restrictions. There are certain countries where Filipinos are not allowed to work as there is a deployment ban. But just in case any of these bans may be lifted, please be guided on safety rules and culture laws which you need to know before flying there. Basically, there are dos and don’ts in the country that every expat should know.
Also Read: Philippine Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq
These dos and don’ts are the things that can be done and should be avoided. Whenever you bump into some locals in Iraq, there are a set of rules to watch out for so you won’t look rude or disrespectful to them. Remember that your country and Iraq might be different in many ways. One behavior may be acceptable in your country but not in Iraq. This is why it’s important to learn the basic practices.
In this blog, we will share with you the basic dos and don’ts in Iraq. These are the usual practice. So, whenever you talk to a local, remember these things. These will help you survive your new environment. If you know the basics, you will also learn how to talk with locals respectfully. You have to be reminded that you are entering new territory. You have to adapt to their practices rather than bringing your accustomed behavior to Iraq. Here are the dos and don’ts in Iraq.
Do’s in Iraq
The dos in Iraq are the common practices of locals. These are the things that you can freely do when you are in Iraq. If you follow these dos, you will likely have a harmonious relationship with the locals, only with minor misunderstanding if there is. Here are the dos in Iraq.
- Dress modestly. Dressing modestly is a way to show your respect to the country and its locals. This is to show that you are being sensitive and polite. Dressing modestly around Iraqis will make them feel appreciated and comfortable.
- Be genuine when you speak to an Iraqi. This is because they take words literally. If you speak to them with metaphors or complicated phrases, they might be misunderstood. When you are talking to them, just say what you want to say but make sure to deliver it well to avoid misunderstanding.
- Offer your sympathy. Whatever the situation is, you should offer your sympathy to the locals whenever a conversation arises. This is the best way you can show the locals that you are also worried about what’s happening to them even in a simple way.
- Be open when talking to a local. It’s okay to introduce yourself and be open with a local. If there’s a conversation about yourself, don’t be afraid to open up. The locals will appreciate you more if you share some personal things about you.
- Compliment Iraqis about their traits, strengths, and virtues. Locals compliment really well. You can reciprocate their compliments so that they will appreciate you more.
- Understand that some people would rather identify themselves with their ethnicity rather than the country where they are from. You will know more about these things when you are in Iraq already.
- Respect the elders. When you are in Iraq, it’s a basic thing to respect the age hierarchy. Stand up when an older person enters the room. Also, try to offer your seat to them.
- It’s normal for men to greet women especially those who have children.
- It’s also polite to lightly protest when someone offers you a kind gesture. If the person insists, you may accept the offer.
Don’ts in Iraq
If there are dos, there are also don’ts. Contrary to the dos, these are the things that you should avoid at all cost because these things might be rude to the locals or might be illegal. Make sure that you are careful. Once you know these things, you will have a better idea of what to avoid doing. Here are the don’ts in Iraq.
- Don’t say anything insulting when you are talking to a local. Insulting or derogatory words are hurtful for locals. If you want to say anything directly to a local, make sure to deliver it correctly and nicely. Don’t be too harsh to the locals.
- Don’t talk down to the locals if they don’t speak English fluently. Remember that Iraqis have their own local language. You need not study their local language but don’t look down on them if they don’t speak in English well.
- Don’t talk politics in Iraq. If topics about politics are not being talked about, then don’t bring them up. You need to avoid them at all costs. Politics is a sensitive topic in Iraq.
- Don’t take photos of the people and government buildings. You need to ask for permission first before you take pictures. It’s illegal to take pictures in Iraq without their consent.
- Don’t speak critically of Islam when you are in Iraq. Remember that Islam is the major religion in the country. It’s important for you to respect it at all times. Respect locals who practice their religion. Respect their places of worship and so on.
Tips when going to Iraq
Iraq might be totally different from your country. If you will come from the Philippines, there might be worst or better things in the country. But one thing is for sure—there are places in Iraq where wars exist. You should avoid that those places if you must. When you are in a normal place like the capital city, you should follow these dos and don’ts if you want to live harmoniously with the locals. You need to know the laws and rules in the country before going there. This is the only way you can make sure that you are not being rude to an Iraqi the moment you meet them.
The rules are simple and they usually reflect the basic etiquettes in Iraq. For sure, even your country has its own etiquette that you are following. It won’t be too difficult for you to adjust if you know the dos and don’ts. Don’t make things complicated. You can make your Iraq journey simple by knowing the basic rules. You may use this blog as your guide when you go to Iraq.