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Understanding Arabs, Fifth Edition: A Contemporary Guide to Arab Society by Margaret Nydell

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CHAPTER 8THE ROLE OF THE FAMILY

Arab society is built around the extended family system. Individuals feel a strong affiliation with all of their relatives—aunts, uncles, and cousins—not just with their immediate family. The degree to which all blood relationships are encompassed by a family unit varies among families, but most Arabs have over a hundred “fairly close” relatives.

image FAMILY LOYALTY AND OBLIGATIONS

Family loyalty and obligations take precedence over loyalty to friends or the demands of a job. Relatives are expected to help each other, including giving financial assistance if necessary. Family affiliation provides security and assures ...

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