Iraqi Culture

Greetings

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  • Iraqis find it extremely important to greet someone with respect when approaching them for the first time.
  • The common greeting is “peace be with you” in Arabic - “Asalaamu alaikum”. The appropriate response returns the well-wishing: “Wa alaikum salaam” meaning “and peace be unto you”.
  • Use a person’s last name and title when greeting them unless they permit you to move onto a first-name basis. If someone is a Doctor, you would say “Dr. (last name)”.
  • Greetings usually involve a handshake with the right hand. Arab men tend to shake hands gently but hold them for a long time. This may feel uncomfortable to hold hands, but avoid retracting your hand before an Iraqi is finished greeting you.
  • Muslim men and women may prefer not to make physical contact with members of the opposite gender. Therefore, when greeting someone displaying an Islamic dress code, it is best practice to greet him or her verbally and let them extend their hand first. It is appropriate to greet someone verbally if you perceive they are unaccustomed to being touched.
  • Greetings between close friends of the same gender may involve two or three kisses on each cheek.
  • To kiss one’s forehead or right hand denotes extreme respect.
  • To place the right hand on the heart after meeting someone indicates sincerity.
  • Men stand to greet a woman when she enters the room, and everyone stands when an elderly person both arrives and departs.
Iraq
  • Population
    34,768,761
    0.48% of World Population
  • Languages
    Arabic (official)
    Kurdish (official)
    Turkmen (official)
    Assyrian (official)
  • Religions
    Islam (99%)
    ~ Shi'a (60-65%)
    ~ Sunni (32-37%)
    Christianity (0.8%)
    Other (0.1%)
  • Ethnicities
    Arab (75-80%)
    Kurdish (15-20%)
    Turkoman, Assyrian or Other (5%)
  • English Proficiency
    Well (40.69%)
  • Cultural Dimensions
    Power Distance 95
    Individualism 30
    Masculinity 70
    Uncertainty Avoidance 85
    Long Term Orientation 25
    Indulgence 17
    What's this?
  • Australians with Iraqi Ancestry
    28,001
Iraqis in Australia
  • Population
    67,352
    [2016 census]
  • Average Age
    37
  • Gender
    Male (51.6%)
    Female (48.4%)
  • Religion
    Catholic Christianity (35.7%)
    Islam (32%)
    Assyrian Apostolic Christianity (11.9%)
    Other (20.4%)
    No Religion (1.6%)
  • Ancestry
    Iraqi (36.8%)
    Assyrian (20.7%)
    Chaldean (12.4%)
    Other (19.5%)
  • Languages
    Arabic (52.5%)
    Assyrian Neo-Aramaic (23%)
    Chaldean Neo-Aramaic (13.5%)
    Kurdish (3.3%)
    Other (7.7%)
  • English Proficiency
    Well (68.1%)
    Not Well (29.9%)
  • Diaspora
    New South Wales (60.9%)
    Victoria (26.6%)
    Western Australia (5.4%)
    Queensland (3.2%)
  • Arrival to Australia
    Prior to 2001 (43.6%)
    2001-2006 (25.5%)
    2007-2011 (26.9%)
Where do we get our statistics?
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