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The Home of Blogs for Culture Vultures

Neil is one of the founders of Commisceo Global. An avid traveller, back-packer and globetrotter, he has a passion for culture. As well as work in cross-cultural training, education and research he also fills his time & head with a love of the Middle East, languages, archery, horses, 90s jungle, reggae, building with earth, permaculture and Iranian cinema.

Middle Finger Gesture Lands Briton in Dubai Courts

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Having worked in Dubai for over 10 years, one of the things that constantly amazes me about visitors to the Emirate is that they think they have landed in some sort of desert version of Las Vegas, where everything goes.

Well, as British IT consultant Jamil Ahmed Mukadam has found out - it is anything but.

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When in Saudi, Do Not Dab

When in Saudi, Do Not Dab

A word of warning for anyone travelling to Saudi Arabia - stay well away from any dabbing. The move could see you spending some time in jail.

Abdullah al-Shahrani, a Saudi entertainer, was recently detained by Saudi authorities after dabbing during a concert in the city of Taif.

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What do I Need to Know About Doing Business in Muslim Countries During Ramadan?

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Do you work with or travel to Muslim majority countries? 

Then you need to know all about Ramadan!

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Media Throw Confusion Over Wearing of Hijab in Saudi Arabia

Media Throw Confusion Over Wearing of Hijab in Saudi Arabia

Some recent news coverage focusing on Theresa May not wearing a headscarf on her business trip to Saudi Arabia has caused some major confusion over etiquette and protocol in the Kingdom.

Certain news outlets and media seemed to use terminology that suggested that the British PM May somehow 'refused' the idea of covering her hair.

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How Diversity and Social Cohesion are Being Privatized by Politicians

How Diversity and Social Cohesion are Being Privatized by Politicians

With the final nails being beaten into the coffin of multiculturalism and politicians seemingly unable to grapple with its complexities, will we see the private sector taking ownership?

I think most people would agree that 2016 was full-on in terms of major events that are shaping our world. Some shook the world and will continue to do so in the coming years.   

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Etiquette Tips for Doing Business in Iran

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Having received great feedback on my blog about the place of "tarof" in Persian culture, a few people have requested a brief guide to doing business in Iran for companies making the journey over.

So here goes....

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Ta'rof - Understanding the Essence of Iranian Etiquette & Culture

Ta'rof - Understanding the Essence of Iranian Etiquette & Culture

Despite continued political tensions with Iran, the demand for Iran cultural awareness training continues.

As a senior Iran cultural awareness trainer, I spend a lot of time helping businesses understand the nuances of Persian culture. 

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Erasmus is Key for Developing Cultural Awareness in British University Students

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If UK loses out on Erasmus, we lose the next generation

One of the OMG moments I had during my post-Brexit bewilderment was what would happen to funding for the Erasmus programme; an EU initiative to support students to study abroad for one year.

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Why Norway's Cultural Training for Immigrants is a Poor Example

Why Norway's Cultural Training for Immigrants is a Poor Example

As part of an effort to help immigrants settle into life in Norway, cultural awareness courses have been made compulsory.

Watching some of the footage of the content in a short video piece on The Guardian website left me cringing - it really exposed a rather shallow approach to cultural understanding in many senses.

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What are Some Tips on Marketing for Export?

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Looking to sell globally?

Export marketing will be crucial to your prospects – however it is key to always remember “cultural differences” in the back of your mind when putting together a strategy and approach.

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Brexit and our Cross Cultural Future

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As bridge-builders, interculturalists have a lot of work to do.

I’m going to be honest with you. I have written this blog once already – I fully expressed my views and vented my frustrations as to the recent events in the UK. I am now taking all those words back and starting again.

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The Importance of Business Relationships in the Middle East

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Doing business in the Middle East or Arab world?

Then you really need to take some time out and read this article!

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When Ignorance of a Local Culture Results in a Costly Business Mess

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Have you heard those nightmare stories of foreigners working abroad and causing offence?

Well, strap yourself in because this is one hell of a tale!

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Business in Ghana: “There’s no food for lazy man”

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“There’s no food for lazy man” is a common saying displayed all over Accra, and one I happened to hear today on my first day in Ghana.

Many of these proverbs beautifully illustrate the values of Ghanain people. 

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Gary Lineker, the Prostrating Muslim Footballers and Cultural Sensitivity

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Gary Lineker is facing criticism for his live comments on Al Jazeera that were seen to be offensive to Muslims.

You can hear what he said in the video below.

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Muhammad & the teddy bear: a case of Intercultural Incompetence

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Every now and again we get an international story that demonstrates the importance of cultural awareness in the modern age.

Examples include the Israeli tourists who got into trouble for kissing in a Hindu shrine, the movie poster depicting someone sat on the head of the Buddha that offended Buddhists and sparked protests in S.E. Asia and the now infamous Prophet Muhammad Cartoons.

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