A baby is born into an Arab family. What happens next is not your regular welcoming.
1. The war on who the baby looks like begins
It's not official until the war between the two sides begins. It's a war on who the baby looks like only seconds after he/she is born. God forbid you say the wrong thing to the wrong person at the wrong time.
2. "Shu cute"
3. Mughli ... all day, all night
Making and serving mughli, a floured rice pudding, when a new baby is born is a common tradition throughout the Levant region.
Dare you refuse a bowl of the dessert when visiting the baby's parents. Don't even try it.
4. Getting death stares when you forget to say "Mashallah"
Arabs are as superstitious as humans can get. When a new baby is born, the parents (and grandparents) do all they can to make sure the baby is free of the "evil-eye."
If you want to compliment, insult, say the baby's name ... always add "mashallah" to the mix. Or else you'll be getting a lot of evil eyes.
5. The obligatory evil-eye protector pin
We are programmed to believe that wearing a "blue" eye can help protect us from hasad.
So, this means prepare to be gifted a "evil-eye" protector pin for your baby.
6. Dressed up in heritage
It's not an official welcoming until the baby is dressed in cute, traditional clothing.
7. Everyone in the family starts speaking baby language ... doh-doh, ka-ka, nam-nam
Arab baby talk is made up almost entirely of two syllable words that somehow become a part of your vocabulary that you never thought would come to life.
You start referring to food as nam-nam or nee-nee, sleep as du-du and crap as kah-kah.
8. And eating "snayniya" when the baby grows his/her first tooth
YES, it's a huge deal when babies in the Arab world grow their first teeth. We love food and we expect our babies to love food as well.
Some people go as far as hosting a whole get-together because the tip of their child's tooth emerged!
Not to forget the fancy "snayniyeh" jars.