…a wee post about Majlis visits in the Middle East…

…first up, for my non-Arabic friends, an explanation  of the WURD, ‘Majlis’ will be helpful… literally it means, ‘the place of sitting’… in Arabic society, the higher essence is of a council, where authority can listen to the views and opinions of those in their respective communities and constituencies… in the more general sense, and more widely applied, is simply the getting together of friends and family in a certain place to talk about anything and everything, pay respects to the holder of the Majlis, and spending time in the company of your fellows… during the Holy Month of Ramadan, there is much heightened activity on Majlis visiting, with people ‘doing the rounds’ of these… sometimes sitting for as little as ten or fifteen minutes, up to longer visits, depending on the amount of visitor traffic flowing into and out of the Majlis

…this month, I have been privileged for the second year of my four in Bahrain to accompany my great friends Salah Al Tattan and his son, Nasser Al Tattan, on a program of evening visits, with as many as six or seven different Majlis meetings per night for the first two weeks of Ramadan… the visits begin after evening prayers , around 9.pm and go on until 1.am and later… these are attended by all and sundry, the great and powerful, and the rest of us…

…at every Majlis, we are welcomed with the same warmth and generosity of spirit so endemic to the Bahrainis… the format is one of honour and respect…  greetings first to the owner of the Majlis, usually the head of the family being visited, then handshakes with everybody in the room or hall where the Majlis is being held… we sit and talk with whomever is at our left or right…

…I have never been so struck with such open, widespread, genuine friendliness in any community, even, and particularly, it must be said, in my own home country… Majlis sittings are held by Sheiks in the Royal family, by leaders of the ‘noble’ families, by influential titans of business, by prominent members of neighborhood gatherings… and they are all terrific!… Ramadan Kareem!

ALL MY BLOG POSTS ARE FREE TO SHARE OR RE-BLOG SHOULD YOU SO WISH—BE MY GUEST!

20 Comments

Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

20 responses to “…a wee post about Majlis visits in the Middle East…

  1. You fit right in, Seumas. What a great opportunity!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fascinating Seumas. Out of interest, I presume they are only open to the male of the species? Do the majority speak English (apologies, Scottish) 😀 or is your Arabic good enough for this type of conversation?

    Liked by 2 people

    • I was wondering about the women as well. Is there a similar ritual for them too?

      Liked by 2 people

      • …copying you with my reply to Voinks, thus : …there are separate Majlis meetings, usually,,, for the men and for the women… a few are ‘mixed’… the ones for the men are more regular and have scheduled times weekly or monthly for their majlises… some only sit during Ramadan, – ‘open house’ so to say… most Bahrainis speak excellent English… an extraordinary number of local have studied at universities and colleges abroad, generally in the UK or in the USA , and possess a deep range of degree achievements and the like — my Arabic is very much the ‘woof! woof! variety ‘..i.e… like a sheepdog… I can understand a lot of what is spoken but my reply is usually ‘Woof! Woof! …

        Liked by 6 people

      • heh, heh, heh … Woof. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • …there are separate Majlis meetings, usually,,, for the men and for the women… a few are ‘mixed’… the ones for the men are more regular and have scheduled times weekly or monthly for their majlises… some only sit during Ramadan, – ‘open house’ so to say… most Bahrainis speak excellent English… an extraordinary number of local have studied at universities and colleges abroad, generally in the UK or in the USA , and possess a deep range of degree achievements and the like — my Arabic is very much the ‘woof! woof! variety ‘..i.e… like a sheepdog… I can understand a lot of what is spoken but my reply is usually ‘Woof! Woof! …

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Very interesting and informative post. I have a cousin called Majlis. Might forward this to her for fun.😊 .
    miriam

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sounds like an excellent cultural exchange, Seumas. It’s only by joining in that positive communication begins. Power to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I should have given you a guest spot in my latest WIP Seumas. One of the main characters is named Woof. 😀 x

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This seems an excellent way to meet the neighbors. You look right at home, Seumas. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Reblogged this on Have We Had Help? and commented:
    More from ‘that man’ in the Gulf…

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.