Are Palestinians Punctual People? Let’s start by saying that Arabs in general are not known for being on time. Just as Germans are known as being punctual and arriving to appointments on time, Palestinians are known for the opposite.
Palestinians in Social Occasions
When it comes to social occasions Palestinians are more flexible in their arrival time. Palestinians believe that 15 minutes or even half an hour off from the agreed upon time is ok. For instance, when you invite someone for lunch, dinner or any other event, you expect them to come half an hour after the defined time and this is normal in the Palestinian community.
Job Interviews, Meetings and Official Appointments
When it comes to serious matters, Palestinians seek to be on time. Job interviews are appointments which Palestinians treat with seriousness when it comes to timing. Often they will even arrive 15 minutes or half an hour early. When it comes to serious and important appointments Palestinians make effort to be on time.
As an International, How do you Approach this Issue?
Being an international in Palestine means that you need to adapt to the culture and accept the differences. People come from countries like Germany, Japan or China where people are generally on time might find this flexibility of time unacceptable. Though we do agree this can be an issue for some there is nothing to be done as this is the local culture. It may feel as if your time is being wasted but soon you will acclimate and start functioning on the Palestinian sense of time. Palestinians as a people and culture have learned to function with this sort of timing just by expecting their appointments to not be exactly on time and by planning accordingly.