How Do I Respond to Palestinian Generosity? Those who come to Palestine will quickly discover the generosity of Palestinians. This feature reflects the culture of Palestinians who are always keen to offer everything they have to guests.
Palestinians are very well-known for being a welcoming people and incredibly hospitable. It is common to be invited to have tea or coffee with someone you have just met. Palestinians are raised on the philosophy of taking care of their guests whoever they are and to make them feel as comfortable as if they were with family.
Many international visitors don’t expect this when they come to Palestine. Generally, such generosity isn’t a current feature of Western cultures. Many visitors from the West wonder how they can respond and how to best return the favor.
Actually, you do not have to since this generosity is part of Palestinian culture. In fact, it is not just a Palestinian thing but also reflective of Arab values. Arabs are famous for being generous with their guests and consider it a shame not to be so. Bedouin Arabs who still live in deserts are expected host a guest for three days and offer him food, drink, and good treatment without question.
For instance, Palestinian kids are taught to share food with their friends when they eat. It is a shame to eat alone without inviting, or insisting, anyone nearby share. Insistence is totally okay, it does not mean that they want to force you to eat or to drink. It just means that they care about their guests and they want them to feel comfortable and well-treated.
Therefore, if someone in Palestine insists that you eat something or drink, or offers you something don’t get offended or bothered, it is how Palestinians treat their guests. If you want to avoid this, simply keep refusing in a nice way.