The holy month of Ramadan is celebrated by fasting without food and water all day for the entire month. During this time of the year businesses and shops remain closed all day and open in the evenings until after mid-night.
Arab men usually wear a white (or brown or grey) one-piece cotton garment called the disdasha or thobe and a head cover known as the ghutra or smagh supported by a black ring namely the igal. Bisht is a long over coat worn over the disdasha on special occasions like weddings.
Arab women are traditionally dressed in an abaya, a simple long black maxi like dress with a headscarf called the hijab and sometimes even a face cover called the burkha or niqab. Mostly western gowns are worn for weddings. Most women like to dress up in bright colors with a lot of gold jewelry and shimmer. Children are usually seen wearing western outfits.
Arabic food is one of the most flavorful cuisines of the world. With a heavy Mediterranean influence, olives, dry fruits (like pine nuts, cashews, pistachios and dates), cheese and other milk products are a big part of many Arabic dishes.
Hummus is a popular side dish made of chickpeas eaten with pita bread called khubus. Baba Ghanush or Mutabbal is the same as hummus but with an added flavor of smoked eggplant. Felafels are also fried chickpea dumplings that taste great with hummus. Chicken and lamb are the most popular forms of meat eaten by Arabs. Shawarma, a lean pita wrap filled with skewered meat pieces is an all-time favorite snack amongst the Arabs. Kebabs, rotisserie grilled whole chicken are some of the other main Arabic dishes that usually go well with rice and tomato puree. Flat breads called fatayar filled with choice of lebna (yogurt), zaater (oregano), jiben (cheese), dijaj (chicken) or leham (lamb) make a great meal. Arabs believe in eating their greens especially in the form of salad called tabouleh (similar to greek salad).
No cuisine is complete without sweets. Bakhlawa, a kind of pastry filled with layers of dry fruit and sweetened milk is a worldwide hit. Kenafa is also a special kind of fried pastry with baked cheese where as Umm Ali is a delicious Arabic bread pudding. Arabs are shaay (tea) and kahwa (coffee) drinkers and take one or the other after almost every meal throughout the day.