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8 Tips To Know If You Are Invited to a Middle Eastern Home for Dinner…

May 21, 2016


Hello Feasters,

How are you all doin? I always love getting feedback from you, so when I got A LOT of questions from people on what to expect in a Middle Eastern home, I decided to make a video about it. There was a myriad of reasons people wanted answers. 1) Some people had significant others that were Arab and wanted to impress the family 2) Some had no idea what to expect and even had some fear because their only perception of Middle Eastern people came from network media (not good) 3) Some wanted to show their gratitude for the dinner invitation in a meaningful way, so hopefully they could get invited again lol.

So here’s the funny thing about all this. Generally I have been posting well thought out cooking videos that take many many hours to make. From the personal investment to make it happen, to ingredient hauls, recipe experimentation, to shooting, wardrobe, make up, presentation, editing, music, lighting–each 6-10 minute video has countless hours of prep behind it. When I made this latest “tips” video, I was winding down from my work commute and really didn’t have to put much thought into it, I was basically reflecting my life experience. And do you know what happened? According to my YouTube analytics, this video got more views in the first 3 days than any other video I put out in the last 6 months! Which makes me think, are viewers more interested in hearing me vlog than watching me cook? Would love to hear your opinions in the column below!

So with that being said, here is the video. And I just want to let you know I was driving super slowly like a granny cause there was tons of traffic. I basically treated my cellphone like a front passenger in my car, only it was better because I never had to turn my head to the right, I could just look straight ahead. 🙂

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Susan Abuasba permalink
    May 22, 2016 1:29 am

    Hello Blanche, Where were you 30 years ago when I needed this?? Ok, you probably weren’t born or just a babe and the technology wasn’t there. I had to learn all this the hard way. My first experience??? SHEERA!! I woke up to my new Middle Eastern family to learn my husband got up earlier and already left to visit his father in his sandwich shop. So I timidly sit in the living room full of women; neighbors, aunts, cousins, etc. Some are preparing the lunch and other are slapping this wax on their arms. Lots of talking and laughing and when they see me they stop and have me sit down, bring me juice. Then one lady picks up my arm, sees all the blond hair on it, slaps that wax on my arm then pulls. The look on my face had them all laughing. In my mind I was like…wtf?? they’re ripping the hair out of my arm!! Thankfully at the same time my new husband walks in, yells a bit at them, explains to me what is happening and asks if I’m ok and whether I want them to continue cleaning me!! LOL – what could I say??? I have 1 arm hairy and 1 arm clean so I say sure, go ahead. Today my Palestinian husband and I are celebrating 30 years of marriage (22/05/86). I’ve learned so much more than sheera over the years including cooking which was a nightmare as they tried to translate AND always seem to forget an ingredient or step each time. So every time I cooked a dish it was different than the last one – always getting perfected!! Your video’s help me learn some of the dishes I no longer want to learn by trial and error!! And it’s in English!! Sheera 101 should be a video though I hear that is in the US now along with threading :). How to host an Arab family visit! I am amazed when I visit (go back to) the US how people just ask, “do you want something to drink” – rather than present something to drink! So you can tell them about the cold drinks, nuts, and then tea or coffee with the sweets…etc when someone visits. It is true – most often people will say no. Also – greeting people in a room! I always felt shy to go to each person and say hello (salam alaikom or sabah al kheir, kefik?) etc. I thought entering a room and a general hello was enough! Maybe with the new generation but if your fans want to impress the older generations!! This is the vlog that will help them :). Good luck and Thank you for the funny insightful video’s and yes – vlog!!

    Sincerely, An expat fan in Kuwait

    On Sun, May 22, 2016 at 2:01 AM, Feast in the Middle East wrote:

    > blanche posted: ” Hello Feasters, How are you all doin? I always love > getting feedback from you, so when I got A LOT of questions from people on > what to expect in a Middle Eastern home, I decided to make a video about > it. There was a myriad of reasons people wante” >

    • May 22, 2016 12:54 pm

      First of all, you had me laughing on the floor! I can’t believe they waxed you like that oh my gosh too funny I can see that in a movie scene!! Your story is riveting and I am sorry I was in no position to give advice 30 years ago as a kid lol. Congratulations on your 30 year marriage–which is a testament to not only your adaptability, but sense of humor. 🙂 I absolutely love your suggestions, as I think people have a lot of learning to do–as you say particularly when it comes to the older generation. Your response made my day and I appreciate it so much! Thanks again (though not sure about doing a video on sheera, oh the agony LOL)

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