If you've spent some time with an Italian, you may have probably noticed how similar Italians and Arabs actually are.
From the tone of speech to hand gestures, the similarities between the two cultures can sometimes be, well, uncanny.
The cross-cultural exchange between Italians and Arabs goes way back in history, starting with the spread of Islam in southern Italy as early as 827.
The King of Sicily and the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II are said to have been able to speak Arabic - so it's no wonder we're this similar!
1. When words fail, hands reign
Arabs and Italians agree on that hand gestures can speak more than a thousand words.
There's something about hand communication that turns mundane conversations into more exciting ones.
2. Spinning dough for pizza mimics dough spinning for mana2eesh
Wooden bakeries are essential to the lives of Arabs and Italians. For us Arabs, life without a man2oushe is no life at all.
We've even borrowed a bit of inspiration from the Italians, turning a traditional man2oushe into a "pizza ma2noushe" that has all the toppings of a traditional Italian pizza, plus corn.
3. Back to hand gestures, this is the most essential one
For us Arabs, this hand gesture puts the fear of God into our hearts, and don't our mothers know it!
Alongside the trusty shahhatta, Arab moms use this hand gesture to silently threaten us into submission. They usually do it in front of a sea of people too, just for that extra oomph.
Deep down, our heart rate more than triples and our sweat glands become overly functional. Yup, such is the effect of the almighty "finger purse".
4. There's always a limitless supply of food
No matter the time of day, no matter the occasion - food is always the priority.
Food is part of both the Arab and Italian cultures, and refusing an offering can be perceived as a great insult.
5. We don't know how to whisper
People are always tempted to eavesdrop to Arab/Italian conversations, just because they "sound" exciting. It's our loud voices that make the most dull conversations seem heated.
Our whispers sounds like screams. Our screams sound like a bulldozer pushing through concrete.
We admit that we're annoyingly loud. But, old habits die hard.
6. It's in our genes to be antsy all the time
Arabs are impatient beings and most are short-tempered. It's the same with Italians.
We make mountains out of mole hills pretty much all the time, but we can't help it. We love the drama.
7. The 'bidet' means everything to us
Walking into a guest bathroom and not seeing a "bidet" or "shatafa" is the apocalypse.
What's even worse is having to explain to people what a "bidet" actually is.
But, before getting into these specifics, you tend to begin by explaining that a "bidet" is not for washing ones feet. Nor is not for soaking ones stained clothes.
It's for cleaning butts. Simply.
8. We've developed a set of skills to help cope with extreme paranoia
Both Italians and Arabs have developed a set of unique skills to cope with extreme paranoia, one of which is the tendency to think EVERYONE wants to rob us.
We are always terrified of leaving the house unattended, vacations are more about anxiously worrying about whether the house will be in good shape when we come back home than about enjoying the moment.
If we're gone for over two weeks, then of course we lend someone a key to check in on the house every now and then.
Drawing parallels: Pyramids of Giza VS Pyramids of Pisa
The two cultures have undoubtedly drawn inspiration from one another. The image above basically sums up the relationship.