Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Codes of conduct for visitors to Libya

Here are some tips that the upper intermediate students thought would be helpful for visitors to Libya.

Behaviour on public transportation

Avoid paying the bus driver the fare until you reach your stop.
If you're taking a taxi you should negotiate the price before getting in the taxi.
Learn the proper hand signals for hailing the right bus.


Libyans are jumping the queue all the time so you need to be a bit aggressive if you want to get to the head of the queue.

Dress codes

Dressing modestly will gain you more respect.
Wearing hijab for women is not necessary.

Saying please and thank you

People like saying 'please' and 'thank you' and it's a good idea to learn how to say the words in Arabic.
please = min fadlak
thank you = shokran

Starting conversations

Starting conversations is easy by asking where someone is from, or directions to places.

Talking to strangers

If you are a man, avoid talking to women you don't know in the street. It may be ok in some public places.
Libyans like meeting and talking with foreigners.

Talking loudly in public

Talking loudly is usually considered impolite.

Subjects you shouldn't talk about

Avoid using dirty words.
Steer clear of discussing local politics.

Things that might cause offence

Saying something bad about Islam or Muslims.
Eating or smoking in front of people in the daytime during the month of Ramadan.
Drinking alcoholic beverages (they're forbidden in Libya).

Upper Intermediate Students
Face2Face unit 6