Reviews · Team up

Einstein’s Dreams | Review

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What do we mean by time? How could our small practices represent time? Why time runs so fast when we are in hurry and so slow when we have nothing to do? This book opens your eyes to so many things related to time. Sometimes, time can take a physical form, biological, spiritual or mechanical. And you can’t but link all the things mentioned in the book with everything happens in your life. You’ll start looking at the meaning of time in a different perspective. You’ll question every single idea you had about time and how it is related to our daily lives. When someone asks you: what do we mean by time or what time means to you, the idea of days and seasons succession or getting old will seem so dumb to your reasoning.

You’ll look at time as if it is a series of repeated events, the same thing that happened to you will happen millions of times again, to you and to everybody else. It is when you realize the hidden meaning behind “Time repeats itself.” The choices we make, you’ll start to look at every possibility it represents by asking: what if? When life gives us couple of choices to choose from, each one represents a different time, a different story, a different possibility, a different people. Each choice we make has its different time.

In the world in which time is a circle, every handshake, every kiss, every birth, every word, will be repeated precisely. So too every moment that two friends stop becoming friends, every time that a family is broken because of money, every vicious remark in an argument between spouses, every opportunity denied because of a superior’s jealousy, every promise not kept. And just as all things will be repeated in the future, all things now happening happened a million times before.

This book will make you realize that every single action you make is absolute, even if you repeat it over and over, the time it holds is dedicated to the action itself, we can’t transfer this time to the same action we did in a different distance.

It is a world of impulse. It is a world of sincerity. It is a world in which every word spoken speaks just to that moment, every glance given has only one meaning, each touch has no past or no future, each kiss is a kiss of immediacy.

You’ll start wondering; how amazing would it be to live without a memory. Where everything we do, speak, touch or feel we do it for the first time. And in every time we make a different interpretation for the action we did we make it for the first time over and over.
This book will open your eyes to the real meaning behind time and allows you to travel through time to discover time.

For it is only habit and memory that dulls the physical passion. Without memory, each night is the first night, each morning is the first morning, each kiss and touch are the first. A world without memory is a world of the present.


June 7, 2017 – Started Reading

June 13, 2017 – Finished Reading

I do not own a copy of the book.

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Reviews

Annabel Lee | Review

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When this poem looks like it is about love, well, I advise you to reconsider this thought. Because this “love” escalated to become more of an immortal love, the kind that death could not erase, the kind that, for scholars, is spooky, the kind that would have been a Disney story but kids could have been traumatized for good after the last scene. What’s so spooky about a lover lying down beside the sepulcher of his long dead girlfriend, huh?

Edgar takes us into a journey to “The kingdom by the sea” where the speaker was and still in love with a girl named Annabel Lee. What characterizes this love is that it was a childhood love, like no other. It grew with their growth; it was envied by the “Seraphs” and oppressed by Annabel’s “Highborn” family (Does it ring a bell? Romeo and Juliet maybe). But our love birds were clinging to each other no matter what. However, one thing was able to “Dissever” them from each other, death. And so it happened.

When you think that this poem is getting spooky stanza after stanza, Edgar chills you down by mentioning some of the surrounding nature, but even this is spooky in a way. Let’s track this down:

“For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;”

So, he dreams of her almost every night. Whenever the moon shines or the stars rises, and here where it gets kind of creepy, imagine that the numerous stars in the sky are the eyes of Annabel Lee, whenever these stars twinkling the lilac sky he feels as if Annabel’s drowsy eyes wakes up from sleep to stare at him all night, wherever he is and whatever he does, she is always beside him, staring. I consider this stanza profoundly poetic.

Nevertheless, I believe that we were oblivious to something very important; the way Edgar had built the picture of Annabel and the speaker in our minds without referring to their physical characteristics. Words like “Maiden” “Highborn” and “sepulcher“; could tell that Annabel is an aristocratic girl and the speaker is kind of less aristocratic. She’s definitely young, and to the eyes of the speaker she is beautiful. However, we can know the status of the speaker at the moment; he’s definitely pale and thin, dusty due to lying next to her tomb.

Once you enter the world of Edgar Allan Poe you can’t leave unless you read as much as you can of his writings. And every time you can bet on him using those fancy, dreadful but brilliant words.


January 17, 2017 – Started Reading
January 17, 2017 – Finished Reading
* I do not own a copy of the book.
Reviews

A hunger Artist | Review

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It’s not a story of a professional fasting artist rather than a story of a person who’s empty both physically and spiritually, yet in his long journey in fasting and amuse passersby he hasn’t fulfilled anything. It’s a story that reflects how pride can be harmful and how hunger turned out to be fruitlessness.

Nobody cared about what he’s doing; the overseer himself didn’t have a consistent opinion of his art, ” “I always wanted you to admire my fasting,” said the hunger artist. “we do admire it,” said the overseer, affably. “but you shouldn’t admire it,” said the hunger artist. “well, then we don’t admire it,” said the overseer.” 

As all of Kafka’s stories; it represents absurdity at its extreme. As much as the hunger artist’s fasting was important to him and consider it to be art, as mush as it did not mean anything more than passing time for passerby. It was in fashion, out of fashion, then in fashion again. Generation after generation have passed and their feelings toward his art seem to be the same.

Kafka dives deep into the human soul, and this dive exceeded his time to the present time. This is what makes his stories (specifically, the secondary characters) evergreen, Its intentions and actions are transmitted over time. High-quality tragedy.


Started Reading – June 7, 2017

Finished Reading – June 7, 2017

* I own a copy of the book.

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Why I Am Not a Christian | Review

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Not so far from Philosophy: The Basics by Nigel Warburton (though it’s written after Why I Am Not a Christian). I don’t think it’s a matter of “why someone is a christian or not?” rather than “why do we have to cling to a religion?” It’s what Russell’s justified clearly as he said, “Most people believe in God because they have been taught from early infancy to do it, and that is the main reason.” It’s true that every religion has existed or will exist, is teaching its followers from the early childhood how to cling to this religion, and defend it in front of any other religion. That it’s the truest, it’s the impeccable one, so on and so forth.

Yet Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism etc are all the same; if one asked you to show ‘Love’ to your parent the other will ask you to show them ‘Passion’ and the circle revolves. Are we really this blind to the truth or do we want to be blind? When science came and refutes all the theories of god, deities, creation in a correct and plausible manner, why we still choose to be in denial?

The first thing is born with human is fear, we have developed fear to encompass all aspects of our lives. So it was imperative to us to believe in a greater force that’s greater than us, is capable of conducting our lives. Physics, chemistry, biology were marginalized and were replaced by God. The one who we haven’t yet seen, haven’t yet talked but his idea is in our minds, inherited generation after generation in a very programmed manner. In this regard, Russell says:

Religion is based, I think, primarily and mainly upon fear. It is partly the terror of the
unknown and partly, as I have said, the wish to feel that you have a kind of elder brother
who will stand by you in all your troubles and disputes. Fear is the basis of the whole
thing — fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. (..) Science can teach us, and I think our own hearts can teach us, no longer to look around for imaginary supports, no longer to invent allies in the sky, but rather to look to our own efforts here below to make this world a better place to live in, instead of the sort of place that the churches in all these centuries have made it.

I’d like to quote a paragraph from Philosophy: The Basics I do believe in:

A god who allows such suffering for merely aesthetic purpose in order to appreciate it in the way one appreciates a work of art, sounds more like a sadist than the all- good deity described by theists. If this is the role suffering plays, then it makes God uncomfortably close to the psychopath who throws a bomb into a crowd in order to admire the beautiful patterns created by the explosion and the blood.


Started Reading – June 11, 2017

Finished Reading – June 11, 2017

* I do not own a copy of the book.

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Men Loving Men: A Gay Sex Guide and Consciousness Book | Review

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I believe it only happens in the Arab world, were you read an LGBT book then all sorts of rumors about your sexual preferences start spreading till the point where you no longer able to recognize yourself, whether it is homo or hetero!

Luckily, people who are capable of reading these sorts of books in public are usually badass or homosexuals and not afraid of admitting it OR THEY ARE JUST AN LGBT SUPPORTERS! (Sorry for disappointing lesbians haha)
A sex guide is kind of good thing for not experienced AND experienced ones; there will always be new things to learn or to take into account because it doesn’t only focus on you but also on your partner(s) as well. The purpose of writing this book was really moving and thoughtful from Walker:

Once a friend and I were having sex and he tried to fuck me in the ass. It hurt; I got scared. Afterwards, I felt I was really inadequate. I thought, “Everyone else knows what to do and has a super time, but I just get confused.”There were sex guides for women and men-that was normal-but none for me. So right then and there, I decided to write something for those who always got ignored, to give some support and guidance about men loving men.

Since homosexuals consider themselves ‘aliens’ sometimes ( and they should not) but it’s only because we are living in a world full of straight people, and homosexuality has been prohibited for so long yet homos have witnessed cruelty, incivility and slaughtered (never forget Alan Turing) which made their coming up bit risqué. BUUUT, Mitch Walker came with his magic stick and brings out this warm and informative gay sex guide to the world, so all LGBT supporters and LGBT community per se can enjoy its marvelous topics. As Walker says in this regard:

Many people with gay feelings feel bad, as if that part of them were nasty or wrong, or their lives were condemned. Our society says nothing positive, and shows no way to grow. This can result in much isolation, and the pains of loneliness, blocking our needs for trust, warmth, caring, love, and sex. Our society tries to suffocate us, making us happy to grab a one-night stand, or slit our wrists.

Let’s talk about a group of people whom (not all of them of course) are hateful, disrespectful to other than their species, whom think that their religion is the one and only of all other religions, a group that a wall will be built for them in heavens because they think they are the only ones in this whole world. IT’S ARAB-MUSLIMS.
Many thanks for Walker for pointing out that a lot of well know poets like Abu Nawas, Mohammed Ebn Malik and Islamic figures like Saladin yet many Islamic successors ARE PROVEN TO BE HOMOSEXUALS (and you can Google this, little skeptical). It’s when Walker’s magical words took place as followed, “Don’t believe everything you read; check it out for yourself. Browse around and explore what you want. A person only grows by interacting with something and making it their own, in their own way.”
Masturbation, fellatio, anal Intercourse and orgy all took a tremendous place in the Islamic world many years ago and still (secretly). So, why we have to make a big deal out of it now?

The book clearly wants not only gay people (though it’s directed to them) but everyone reading it to grasp the importance of romance in the sex and in the relationship in general; to cuddle, to touch, to feel the warmth of each other’s bodies and genitals. Moreover, to be honest with your mate and to show understanding to his needs and desires because there is you and him/her and this relationship, not only you.
Walker has made a coherent and interesting book indeed that covers all the important aspects of gay’s sexual life in hope it made their life much easier.

To be gay is not to be a homosexual.”Homosexuality” is a label put on some of us by ill-meaning scientists; it usually means a sex preference, and absolutely so. Gayness goes infinitely beyond sex, and may not include it at all. Each is gay in her/his own way-it is a perspective, a flowering.


Started Reading – June 1, 2017
Finished Reading – June 12, 2017
* I don’t own a copy of the book.
Reviews

Dancing Arabs | Review

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Dancing Arabs has officially joined its previous: The Catcher in the Rye, to my growing list of overrated books. For a book that used to be banned from Jordan for cursing and mocking King Hussein, I believe they should rethink banning it for being too shallow and spinning in closed circle. However, I thought when Sayed Kashua wrote the screenplay for its movie, he’d at least “CONSIDER” containing the main plot. Taking this silly thought into consideration, I was full of hopeful fantasies toward the book . But apparently the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its movie.” is true, vise versa in this case.

Being an Arab, I know exactly what the protagonist feels toward his family and society, though the book was written in 2002, yet everything the book has included is still applied so far; letting our parents decide what we should study and do with our lives, marrying someone from our clan, village or family and the list goes on. Nevertheless, what appears to intercede for the book is the fact that he showed real feelings toward his desire to become a Jew, to become a citizen. He wants peace, he wants Arabs (especially Palestinians) to cease being self-contradictory and have one fixed attitude towards things, and he surely wants them to cease being “Dancing Arabs”.

Personally, I felt extremely attached to his youngest brother’s personality. He took advantage of his broken tooth to lessen his communication with others, including his family members. He took off to Tel Aviv and bought himself a new identity. Unlike the protagonist who stayed in the village horsing around and being lousy, dependant kind of a person who only take pleasure of dreaming and hoping of becoming a Jew instead of achieving this hope.

However, I own a copy of the first edition of the book. It’s full of typos, but the style of writing was beautiful and coherent, he has that smooth way of telling a story without pushing me around irrelevant details which eases off my agony and lets me imagine for a minute being a Jew, who’s living in the other side, how my life would be, what are the qualities I might get just for being a Jew. And why we have to be us and them, no one can deny the fact that Zionists invaded Palestine, but according to the current circumstances, let’s not let the idea of peace and living together fade into oblivion, let’s have the terms of peace on the table to stop the bloodshed. Israel became reality we shouldn’t deny this, at least to ourselves.


Started Reading – May 1, 2017
Finished Reading – May 20, 2017
*I own a copy of the book.
Reviews

The Metamorphosis | Review

 

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**THIS REVIEW IS BASED ON THE LONG STORY (THE METAMORPHOSIS) TAKEN FROM THE COMPLETE STORIES OF FRANZ KAFKA**

When I started reading this short story, I was filled with prejudgments about it. But paragraph after paragraph, page after page, I came up to these conclusions (1) Houses of publishing, take advantage of dead authors works to translate them in a way that guarantee an implicit or explicit melancholy and dreadfulness meanings. For instance, when Dostoevsky finished one of his short stories, the publisher decided to make some adjustments in order to make the story more bleak and delightful to the readers, it’s when Dostoevsky sent her a letter preventing her from making any further adjustments to the story without his consent because what she did was making the protagonist inclined to suicide, which he was not. That’s why I never trust any translated work. (2) Why most of the readers are taken with idea of compliance with laws and regulations and how the characters are devoid of human feelings, I can’t deny any of that, it could be totally true. But why don’t we look at the other side of the story:

The mysterious insect Gregor had turned to, is inside each and every one of us; we turned to it whenever we were neglected, being bullied, being harassed, having mentality disorders, suicidal thoughts, being depressed, having communication problems, and the list goes on. Whatever the things or circumstances that could make us turn to that nauseous, terrifying and despicable insect Gregor had turned to.

It also could be the stages of the problems we face in our life. Starting from it being huge and irritating us and by time we might get used to its existence, to the point that we’d neglect it. Until the day comes and we can’t but say: enough is enough. And through it outside our life and move on. And how we actually deal with these problems is being reflected by Gregor’s family, their way of dealing with Gregor (the problem).

I believe that this specific work of Kafka is an open invitation for us to look at Gregor’s metamorphosis from a different angle each time we read it. And never stick to the stereotypical side of this story.

The characters on the other hand, are nearly fixed; Gregor manages to accept every situation has given to him, starting from his new roll in the family after his father losses his business, and being depended on as breadwinner for his family. Accepting a job that he dislikes yet a distrustful and overbearing boss. However, after Gregor’s metamorphosis he also shows acceptance to his new condition, and instead of freaking out or rebel on the current situation, he had only showed tolerance and never tried to stand up for himself or even to leave.

However, his sister’s character showed much development than Gregor’s. At first she used to love her brother, and when he transformed she kept on bringing him food that she thought he loves, when this failed she brought a large variety of food to see what fits his new situation, yet she cleaned his room (she did so temporarily; as she considered this new situation tentative and it will pass soon) but when time start passing, and there was no change on Gregor’s situation, and he started affecting her life badly, she showed lack of sympathy and grow up showing negligence toward him. Eventually, she decided to let go of him and persuaded her family to do so.

The general theme in the story was absurdity. From the first sentence to the last the story was filled with absurd events. Neither Gregor’s family, his office manager, the maids nor the boarders were horrified of his vision, there reaction toward what’s going on was beyond believing; it appeared as if they were used to seeing this, and it is just a disgusting and annoying part of their life might possibly happen. They had never asked for explanation or seeked an advice. Even Gregor himself was more concerned of catching the train for his job more than his metamorphosis. This absurdity implies that the characters to some degree are not surprised by the absurdity in their world.

If we tried to investigate the lexical meaning of Metamorphosis, we’d have found this:

1. formal a process in which something changes completely into something very different.
2. a process in which a young insect, frog etc changes into another stage in its development.

(From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, Entry: metamorphosis)

which means; this story is causing a transformation in the personality of its characters; they are either showing the slightest development or a major one. Same for the reader, one can not finish this story without having something changed in him. Wherefore, The Metamorphosis is an invitation for every one to actually metamorphose into something.


 Started Reading – May 27, 2017
Finished Reading – May 28, 2017
* I own a copy of the book. 
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PDF Reader, OPS!

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Hello guys, how you all are doing?
I know that nothing can defeat a book, its smell and texture -AHH I’m dying already- BUT, I sometimes face the problem of not finding some books I’m dying to read, it’s when I have to PDF them. Sooo, out of making it easier on you; I have some PDF books that I’ll be glade to send you to read if you want to.

All what you have to do is to contact me with the name of book/s you’d like me to send you, and you’ll have them as soon as I read the message (which usually takes 15 minutes). Moreover, I’ll be glade if you share with me your list of PDF books so I can “borrow” some haha.

  • I’ll update this list every time I got a new PDF Book.

Have a lovely day all.


Art

  1. A History of European Art – Professor William Kloss
  2. American and European Works of Art

Classics

  1. A dimond as Big as the Ritz and Other Stories – F. Scott Fitzgerald
  2. A study in Scarlet – Arthur Conan Doyle
  3.  A Chirstmas Carol – Charles Dickens
  4. Doctor Faustos – Christopher Marlowe
  5. Litters to Milena – Franz Kafka
  6. Notes from the Underground – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  7. The Black Cat – Edgar Allan Poe
  8. The Woman who Rode Away and Other Stories –   D. H. Lawrence
  9. Ulysses –  James Joyce
  10. Utopia – Thomas More
  11. Candide – Voltaire
  12. The Old Man and The Sea – Ernest Hemingway
  13. A Farewell to Arms – Ernest Hemingway
  14. The Sun Also Rises –  Ernest Hemingway
  15. الأساطير اليونانية و الرومانية

Business/Education

  1. How to Write a Business Plan – Mike McKeever
  2. How to Write Better Essays – Bryan Greetham
  3. Oxford Guide to English Grammar –  John Eastwood
  4. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change – Stephen R. Covey

LGBT

  1. Gay & Lesbian Themes, Critical Survey of Poetry –  Rosemary M. Canfield Reisman (Editor)

History

  1. Solomon on Sex: Lessons on Love, Sex and Marriage from the Song of Solomon –  Kurt Trucksess

  2. The Crusades and the Christian World of the East: Rough Tolerance – Christopher MacEvitt

  3. Magic in ancient Egypt –  Geraldine Pinch
  4. Sex in the Ancient World from A-Z – john Younger

Novels

  1. Eat, Pray, Love –  Elizabeth Gilbert
  2. Girl in Translation – Jean Kwok
  3. 1Q84 – Haruki Murakami
  4. Love in the Time of Cholera -Marquez Gabriel Garcia
  5. The Wolves of Mercy Falls (Shiver) –  Maggie Stiefvater
  6.  The Bell Jar – Silvia Blath
  7. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
  8. Franny and Zooey – J.D. Salinger
  9. الضوء الأزرق – حسين البرغوتي
  10. الأرجوحة – محمد الماغوط
  11. المؤلفات الكاملة – نجيب محفوظ المجلد الخامسة

Philosophy

  1. Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit: An Introduction – Larry Krasnoff

  2. Jung: A Very Short Introduction – Anthony Stevens

  3. The Birth of Tragedy – Nietzsche
  4. Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction – Edward Craig
  5. Logic: A Very Short Introduction – Graham Priest
  6. Sophie’s World – Jostein Gaarder
  7. The Meaning of Truth –  William James

  8. The Art of Dying – Osho
  9. Beyond Good and Evil – Friedrich Nietzsche
  10. اسطورة سيزيف – البير كامو

Plays

  1. The Divine Drama of Love –  James A Fowler
  2. No Exit and Three Other Plays – Jean Paul Sartre
  3. The Words – Jean Paul Sartre
  4. Waiting for Godot – Samuel Beckett
  5.  ست شخصيات تبحث عن مؤلف – لويجي برانديلو

Poetry

  1.  Selected Poems – Derek Walcott
  2. Leaves of Grass – Walt Whitman
  3. Selected Poems – Pablo Neruda
  4. The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes
  5. The Illiad – Homer
  6. The Odyssey – Homer
  7.  Love is a Dog From Hell – Charles Bukowski
  8. الأعمال الشعرية الكاملة (الجزء الأول ) – نزار قباني

psychology

  1. The Art of Seduction –  Robert Greene

  2. Thinking Skills – John Butterworth, Geoff Thwaites

Religion

  1.  Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon – Daniel C. Dennett
  2. God Is Not Great – Christopher Hitchens
  3. The God Delusion – Richard Dawkins
  4. Why I Am Not a Christian – Bertrand Russell
  5. Free will – Sam Harris

Science

  1. The Selfish Gene – Richard Dawkins

Politic Science

  1. The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order – Samuel P. Huntington

Sociology

  1. Sociology: A Very  Short Introduction – Steve Bruce
  2. العرب وجهة نظر يابانية – نوبوأكي نوتوهارا
  3. رأس المال 1,2,3 – كارل ماركس
  4. طبائع الاستبداد ومصارع الاستعباد – عبد الرحمن الكواكبي

Essays

  1. We Should All Be Feminists – Chimamanda Ngozi
Reviews

Intercultural Communication: Unity in Diversity | Review

 

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Photo by Voracious Shelf

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We might spend our life thinking that communicating with other countries are going to be a piece of cake; especially if we “know” a lot about the culture we’re communicating with by knowing their cuisine, language, how they dress, their marriage ceremony, whatsoever. Achieving that by watching movies, series or befriending people form that culture. And when the time comes and we travel to that culture we’re admiring and believing that we know quite well, we’ll immediately face a cultural shock.

No matter how well you know a country, how good you are speaking their language, how many friends you have from that country, as long as you aren’t born there and raised their, your communication with that country will always be intercultural communication even, for instance, you’ve lived for twenty years there. However, what will change is the degree of which your communication is being held with the citizens: MOST intercultural communication or LEAST intercultural communication. And this is the whole concept of the book; to know exactly how our communication is going to be with cultures different than ours, and what possibly we might face though this communication

Debra Reece and Rula Quawas did such a great job discussing the difference between Intercultural Communication and Intracultural one and what’s in between: Interethnic/Interracial Communication, Cross-cultural Communication and International Communication. Based on this, they emphasized that the world are divided into two cultural patterns: Collectivistic Cultures and Individualistic Cultures. Whatever culture you were dealing with (your own or different than yours) some tools must be applied or taken into consideration in order to improve intercultural communication, such as: display of respect, orientation to knowledge, tolerance for ambiguity and so on.

After achieving this, we can safely come to the nine dimensions are used to describe the dominant of a cultural power, Robert. J. House called it GLOBE; which is an acronym for Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness. They illustrated that these dimensions differ from country pattern to another (i.e. some might have it high and others might have it low).

Moreover, they argued about the nature of identity: Cultural Identity, Social Identity and Personal Identity. Providing the stages of developing cultural identity. I must admit that the chapters I liked the most were: Cultural Biases; were they introduced us to Social Categorizing, Ethnocentrism, Stereotyping, Prejudice -linked with- Discrimination, and Racism. And Nonverbal Messages; which are EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to know while dealing with different cultures, because what’s suitable and accepted in your culture can be rude or disrespectful to the person in other cultural. However, this includes body movement: gestures, head movement, facial expression, eye behaviors and so on. All these are known as Kinesics, which have different types: emblems, illustrators, affect displays, regulators and finally adaptors.

When knowing and understanding all these, we’ll protect ourselves from facing cultural shock due to misunderstanding, having it escalated to cultural clash, then, cultural shock. It’s important for me to say that this amazing book helped me to understand different cultural, and that, “People are the same, only their habits differ.


Intercultural Communication: Unity in Diversity  by Debra Reece and Rula Quawas

April 25, 2017 – Finished Reading

* I own a copy of this book.