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Draft:  final appeared in Journal of
Development Management (1995)

Managing Cross-Cultural Challenges:
A Pre-K Lesson for Training in the Gaza Strip(1)
R.S. Zaharna, Ed.D.
The American University


This study uses a case study from the Gaza Strip to explore the cross-cultural challenges that emerged to shape the project design and dictate critical training solutions. Although Gaza is not one's typical training site, the experience provided valuable lessons that others may use in working in high-stress training locales.
As the race continues to secure international training ventures, more and more trainers will be entering into uncharted terrain throughout the global community. How well Western-educated trainers will fare in this new terrain may depend little on their own particular expertise, and more on their adeptness in crossing the many cultural hurdles they will encounter. In the summer of 1993, I was invited by AMIDEAST, one of the largest American-based educational and training institutions in the Arab world, to design and conduct a communication training program for Palestinian institutions in the Gaza Strip. This account looks at the cultural nuances that enveloped the training, how they were accommodated in the design of a project, and what lessons were learned in the process.

At the time of the training, the Gaza Strip was under military occupation. The political and social climate was extremely restrictive and affected every aspect of daily life. Economic underdevelopment went hand in hand with the widespread poverty. The poor infrastructure reflected both the political and economic climates; electricity, water and transportation were in short supply and unreliable. While Gaza is not a typical training locale, it does share features that trainers may encounter to some degree in other parts of the world, especially those in the most need of training.

The six-week project was the first ever public communication training in the Gaza Strip. None of the program participants were native speakers of English. Many, in fact, struggled with the language. Only a few had traveled outside the Middle East, and several had never lived outside the Gaza Strip. Familiar public communication tools such as press releases or membership newsletters were nonexistent. The goal of most of the institutions was increasing their effectiveness with their own constituents as well as with international audiences in order to secure much needed funding for development.

In designing the Gaza project,  four institutions were selected to serve as models for other institutions and accordingly received intensive instruction. Each institution selected represented a different area of service with a unique set of needs. The first institution was a polytechnic college, located in the southern region of Gaza, which had a rapidly expanding student population but little developed infrastructure to meet such growth. Next, was a community mental health center with its three clinics, serving a population of over 800,000. The third institution, the Union of Industrialists, represented manufacturing and industrial employers throughout the region. Finally, there was a small, yet ambitious community development center located on the outskirts of Gaza city . At the end of the program, I also conducted an intensive two-day workshop for twenty of the top institutions throughout the Gaza Strip. To more concretely illustrate the unique challenges which emerged and how culture played a role in dictating the solutions, the paper focuses on work with the Toffah Educational Development Center.


The Toffah Educational Development Center, located in Gaza city, is a community educational and resource center developed by the residents of the Toffah quarter. Toffah originally started with a group of residents trying to solve the water and sewage problem in the absence of a formal government body. After the success of the water venture, the residents developed their own modest sanitation and trash removal project for the streets of the quarter. Their efforts gradually evolved into the Toffah Educational Development Center. Residents opened the first area kindergarten for their children in 1991. Today, Toffah has nine programs, including a kindergarten with 217 children, an adult literacy program, an after-school program with over 600 students from grades 1-6, a womens' vocational training program, and a public library.

One of the outstanding features of Toffah was its kindergarten. The kindergarten incorporated innovated teaching methods, including "learn-by-play," in an educational environment that was still otherwise dominated by the lecture method and rote memorization even for pre-schoolers. The teachers also filled its seven small classrooms with instructional aids that they themselves had made from household items and disposable packaging materials. In Gaza, few schools use such innovative teaching methods and instructional toys are prohibitively expensive.

Toffah's toys included giraffes made from egg cartons, a puppet theater constructed from a cardboard refrigerator box, and story "books" sewn together from pieces of fabric. A corner library with pockets to hold little paper books was pieced together from the burlap bags used to dispense refugee rations. A fishing/spelling game made from plastic cooking oil containers was a favorite among the teachers and children alike. Large yellow oil containers were cut into fish-shaped pieces. These "fish" then had a letter from the alphabet painted on it and a metal staple punched through it to give it a magnetic quality. Children used a "fishing pole," consisting of a stick with a magnet at its end, to fish for the different letters in order to spell a word.

The science toys help the pre-schoolers learn about their environment. There were painted cola cans filled with dried macaroni and other items that the children could shake to learn to distinguish between different sounds. Empty plastic film containers filled with different spices helped children develop their sense of smell. Small food containers filled with sand from the beach helped children learn different weights and measurements. Painted styrofoam cups and matching sea shells were used to teach children shapes and colors.

Because of Toffah's desire to expand its social programs, the major communication goal was fund raising. While Toffah had ideas for income-generating projects, they were keenly interested in reaching out to international donor agencies so they could secure funding for the center's projects. The communication officer at Toffah was highly motivated but had no training in the field, except for a short course in fund raising. Many of her activities were directed by Toffah's director, who also had no training in public communication. Although the director valued his communication officer's work, he did not appear to value her opinions as much.


Toffah's primary challenge was to raise funds to support and expand the center's activities. The two ways it sought to do this was by seeking funding from the international donor agencies and through developing income-generating projects. Toffah's secondary goal was to promote the acceptance and use of innovative teaching methods among early childhood education institutions.

Toffah shared a problem faced by many local institutions seeking to reach the international community: how to cross the language hurdle. While Toffah wanted to reach international donor agencies, it seemed unequipped to do so. Toffah had no English-language materials for distribution and only rudimentary English language skills. The major strength of the center was its activities and contributions to the community. Toffah had established a reputation for the innovative teaching methods of its kindergarten noted above and for its successful womens' vocational program.

Toffah was able to successfully generate favorable publicity and secure funding from visitors who toured the center's facilities. The center received an average of three foreign visitors a week. The visitors toured the center's facilities and observed all of the projects first hand. The communication officer who accompanied the visitors was adept at cultivating interpersonal relations and was quick to develop potential working relationships. Additionally, the visitors were able to see the center's activities and, although perhaps not fully appreciate the significance involved, they could nevertheless understand what Toffah was about and what it was trying to accomplish. These strong visual and interpersonal elements often compensated for the weak English language skills. Thus, the immediate challenge was how to design a public communication program that would minimize the language component and capitalize on the visual element and person-to-person interaction.

The location of the Toffah center contributed to the logistical challenges of designing the program. Toffah quarter is off the main road leading into Gaza where many workers and commuters gather to cross the Israeli checkpoint. The quarter was a prime location for disturbances, and as a result, was often under curfew. In addition to the "designated strike days" on the 7th and 9th of each month, an Israeli curfew could occur to shut off the area any day, any time. Planning promotional thus required great scheduling flexibility because any event could be disrupted by a curfew. Additionally, because of the travel restrictions between the areas, Palestinian participants from outside Gaza needed about a month's lead time to obtain travel permits. Toffah also experienced frequent electricity cutoffs and water shortages -- sometimes for days at a time. As a relatively poorer section of Gaza, the Toffah quarter also had no paved roads or streets, no sidewalks, no street signs. Thus, travel for first-time visitors had to be pre-arranged by the center.

Meanwhile, the task of producing a brochure was not as viable an option as one might think. First, Toffah was looking for income-generating projects. Funds were lacking for even a modest brochure. Second, preparing an English-language brochure went beyond available language abilities. There were also fundamental disagreements over content, presentation, and visuals. Creating a brochure that was aesthetically appealing to an international agency, yet one that might be alienating to Toffah, would have eroded my client's confidence in the training program.

In addition to reaching international donor agencies, Toffah also realized the need to reach out to its immediate audience, the local community. While Toffah's innovative teaching techniques had been applauded by Western agencies, the techniques were not as valued by the more traditional society of Gaza which often viewed "new and innovative" with skepticism. Thus, Toffah needed to gain wider acceptance of its teaching innovations among the early childhood learning centers in Gaza. The center wanted an education/awareness program that would involve area teachers and win them over to the idea of learning through play.


Beyond these stated concerns of the Toffah project were many hidden cultural undercurrents that served to shape and define the project. Intercultural communication scholars have identified several areas that are particularly salient in any cross-cultural setting. These areas are highlighted below to illustrate the cultural dimensions of the Toffah project.


For many, the verbal component -- language -- is the most prominent feature of a culture. Not surprisingly, language is often cited as the major difficulty in cross-cultural communication. In the case of the Toffah project, the first challenge was designing a project that would enable Toffah to effectively "communicate" with international donor agencies. Although the communication director had been an English major and her English was quite good, she "thought in Arabic and wrote in English." While the material was grammatically correct, the cultural nuances and hidden meanings embedded in common words sometimes made the text seem awkward. Also, in Arabic, there is an economy of words. One Arabic word could incorporate an entire English sentence. "Thinking in Arabic and writing in English" can produce translations that may seem contorted, redundant, or excessively long to the English-language readers. Further, the extensive use of metaphors, sayings, and word plays used in Arabic often fail to resonate with an English-speaking audience.

During the course of the training it occurred in became clear that one way of crossing the language hurdle was through increasing the amount of direct interpersonal communication. Not only were the participants' English language skills weakest with written materials, but  the majority of a message content is communicated nonverbally. This is consistent with what scholars have observed. Second language learners generally are able to understand better than they are able to speak. Thus in designing Toffah's project an effort was made to minimize the amount of writing and increase the amount of direct interpersonal communication. Strong visual components were also added wherever possible to help reduce the need for extensive oral skills.


While often overlooked, nonverbal communication can be the most notorious culprit in cross-cultural misunderstandings. There is an extenvive literature about nonverbal cultural differences between Arab and American behaviors. Training guides such as Almaney & Alwan(2) and Nydell(3) provide a comprehensive overview. Proxemics, or the use of space, provides a ready example of how the hidden dimension of nonverbal behavior works in creating cross-cultural misunderstandings for Arabs and Americans. According to Hall,(4) the dominant American cultural preferences is for a personal space of approximately three feet, or arm's length. For Arabs, the spacial tendency is approximately two feet. Thus, engaged in a conversation, a sort of a dance would ensue between an Arab and an American: the Arab steps forward to close the space between them, the American steps back to increase the space. Unaware of this hidden dimension, the Arab might perceive the American as aloof, while the American might perceive the Arab as aggressive. Interesting in this project with the Toffah center, the communication director was a female and most of the representatives from the donor agencies were male. Thus, the respectful distance she kept because of the cultural dictates for male-female interaction matched the extended distance most Westerners keep.

Visual Communication

Many communication scholars would put visual communication under nonverbal communication. It receives special note here because visuals are often an integral part of communication campaigns. In preparing promotional brochures, for example, Western designers will undoubtedly encounter cultural preferences in visual design and aesthetics. One cannot simply say the brochure is done this way because it "looks good." Brochures are not common in an oral society and what "looks good" is culturally relative -- and debatable. A brochure with "style" for an American may have a single, dramatic image on the cover, lots of white space, consistency in the typeface, and balanced lines and images. In contrast, a brochure with "style" in the Arab culture would not "waste" space and instead fill every inch with as many different typefaces, borders, and images as possible -- and be warmly received by Arab audiences. Style is culturally relative.

Again, this difference in cultural preferences was encountered during the Toffah project in trying to develop a brochure. Although a brochure could have been done relatively quickly, creating the cultural understanding about critical design and stylistic decisions required building client trust. Because of the arbitrary way in which cultures define beauty and aesthetics, it becomes a matter of trust and faith when someone from another culture tells you something looks good, when your own eyes tell you it does not. Spending the time to explain this visual factor, instead of working on the brochure itself, proved to be cost effective. During this project discussions over visual appearances surfaced repeatedly.

Beliefs & Values

Much has been written about different cultural beliefs. Many cultural beliefs are manifest in external, visible features of a society. However, because beliefs, like most cultural components, tend to be arbitrary, variations and contradictions abound from one culture to the next. For example, Americans place a premium on individualism, while Arabs tend to value the collective.(5) Thus, in designing a communication campaign for an Arab setting, incorporating group benefits may be more effective than stressing individual choice. In designing the project for Toffah, a conscious effort was made to have a group or community function as the pivotal core of the project.

Rhetorical Style

Intercultural scholars have found that different cultures have distinct preferences for constructing "logical" arguments and persuasive messages.(6) Arab and American have dramatically different rhetorical styles(7). In a recent study(8), I found that for the American culture, language appears to be a medium of communication used to convey information. Emphasis is on function, and by extension, on substance, simplicity, directness, and accuracy. A message may tend to be valued more for its content than style. For the Arab culture, language appears to be a social tool used in the weaving of society. Emphasis is on form over function, affect over accuracy, and image over meaning. Accordingly, content may be less important than the social chemistry a message creates.

These rhetorical differences was the main reason why Toffah needed assistance in filling out funding application forms. Invariably, Toffah's response on an application form was grammatically correct, but often the questions had been misinterpreted. For example, in answer to the "Organization's Background," Toffah, like most Palestinian institutions, gave a detailed historical overview of the political situation of the region. From the Palestinian perspective, it was inconceivable to present the organization's background without giving a "proper" context. Thus, several pages into a proposal one might find a line or two about the organization. The rest would be a political analysis of the past and current situation in the Middle East. This practice of giving such an expansive historical background is cultural. As anthropologists have noted, the Arab culture tends to be past oriented, while the American is more future oriented. This future orientation is what makes planning, strategizing, and developing time charts seem "natural" to most Americans, while dealing with historical details seems "laborious" or irrelevant. Most Arabs, in contrast, would tend to view a document that did not include the historical background as "incomplete." Again "context" played a critical in designing the Toffah project. Rather than have the Toffah staff try to explain (in English) the context of the project, an attempt was made to develop a setting that would almost speak for the project itself.

Communication Matrix

Understanding the communication matrix also played a major part in the Toffah project. The communication matrix looks at how the various components of communication fit together in a particular culture. For example, how important is the role of interpersonal communication versus the mass media? What channel is most commonly used to convey what types of messages?

In Gaza, because of restrictions on press and political activities, the walls surrounding private homes were the major medium of communicating during the height of the Palestinian uprising. What would be called "graffiti" in America, was a vital communication medium in the Palestinian context. In the Arab communication matrix, strong interpersonal relations play the primary role in all forums of communication activities. Knowing this, the Toffah project sought to amplify the social theme and reinforce opportunities for social interaction.

Geo-political & Economic Factors

Geo-political and economic factors are often excluded from most intercultural analysis. However, as Edward Stanton stated:

We . . . must be alert to the effect the economic and political developments may have on the strategies we propose for our clients, and on the implementation of the strategies they direct . . . We must be sensitive to the sensitivities of different nationalities. (9)
While a trainer may see obvious economic differences between America and the new culture, the implications of these differences might not be fully appreciated until the phone stops working, the electricity goes off, or office supplies run out.

Additionally, American political assumptions about "how things work" can also be overlooked. Freedom of action and speech is something that most Americans take for granted. Instead of absolute freedom, a trainer in many countries may have to work with degrees of freedom. This was especially true for the Toffah project, which was conducted when Gaza was still under Israeli military occupation. Every logistical concern seemed to assume a political dimension.  A trainer would have to pay close attention to policial and cultural cues that in other settings might be overlooked.

PROJECT DESIGN: Educational Toy Fair

The many cultural elements mentioned above served to shape the design of the communication project developed for Toffah. The idea for the project did not come immediately. After exploring a flower making venture as an income-generating project and then the brochure as a public communication project, we concentrated on how Toffah could use an income-generating project to communicate with potential funding agencies. The project that emerged was the Toffah Educational Toy Fair. The fair was designed to position Toffah as a leader in the field of early childhood education.

There were several components to the fair. First, the fair would showcase the instructional materials developed by the Toffah's teachers, which would be available for sale to local teachers and institutions.

Second, the fair would sponsor an "Educational Creativity Competition" and award prizes for the best original toy design in math, science, reading, language and art. The toys and instructional aids would be displayed during the week-long fair and judged by early childhood educators from regional educational institutions.

Third, the fair would feature high-profile guests at the center's festivities. The guest list for the opening ceremonies included the media, foreign consulates and international funding agencies, as well as organizations and institutions interested in early childhood education from the West Bank and Gaza. The fair also would be open to the general public for the remaining days.

We decided to hold the fair the premises of the center and use three classrooms and the courtyard for displaying the items. The week-long event was tentatively planned for mid-August. Holding the project at the site of the center itself helped reduce the need for "contexting" the Toffah center and its activities.

The fair's primary audience was kindergarten and elementary school teachers. Toffah wanted to create a need, as well as longer term market, for the toys. This meant involving area teachers in the fair's activities and winning them over to the benefits of using the instructional aids in their classrooms.

The event's second major audience was educational institutions and organizations. New teaching methods were forcing their way into the classrooms of Gaza, and Toffah wanted to assist others in making that educational transition successfully. In many ways, this goal related to the desire to strengthen Toffah's reputation and credibility as a leader in the field of innovative teaching methods within the Gaza Strip.

The third audience, international funding agencies, was consistent with Toffah's goal to secure development assistance for its projects. The organized event would allow the agencies to tour Toffah's facilities and see Toffah's advances within the field of early childhood education. The media and other social and charitable institutions would also be invited to the fair. Finally, in keeping with its practice of serving the community, Toffah would open the fair to the general public on the remaining days.


The Fair was designed to meet many of the cultural challenges. The on-site function allowed direct interaction between Toffah's communication officer and the funding agencies. Meanwhile, the presence of funding agencies gave credibility to local educators to the value of the innovative teaching methods. Conversely, the presence of the local teachers and prominent educators helped strengthen Toffah's credibility with the funding agencies. This combined presence strengthened Toffah's positioning with both audiences and fit with the group-orientation, a strong cultural value. Toffah also gained increased acceptance for its innovative teaching aids simply by having a large attendance by the local community. Holding the competition was another factor that tried to incorporate community involvement.

With regard to communication matrix, the fair relied heavily on allowing for direct interpersonal interaction. The very theme of "a community fair" also resonated with the social component. The fair itself was centered around this principle, with Toffah serving as the host, receiving the international media and donor agencies as guests. This component capitalized on the interpersonal strength and reduced the stress on the language component. The group nature of the project also facilitated making transportation arrangements for groups of first-time visitors to the center.

The week-long time frame of the event was adopted so that Toffah could accommodate any unforeseen political and logistical constraints. Lastly, the sale of the instructional aids also served Toffah's desire to develop an income-generating project. As it turned out, after an initial start on the project, Toffah postponed the Fair until the winter. The chances for the Fair being implemented on an annual basis are good. This would help reinforce Toffah's reputation as a leader in innovative teaching aids.

For the project as a whole, the USAID-sponsoring agency in the Gaza Strip called the Public Communication Pilot Project one of the most successful and beneficial programs it had sponsored in the region. The program and workshop was rated at a 90% satisfaction level. As the official stated, "the need for public communication training was great and the program participants were able to apply their training immediately. Cross-cultural sensitivity played a major factor in the participants being able to apply what they learned." Another measurement of the program's impact was reflected in requests for similar projects. Half way through the program, An-Najah National University, the largest independent Palestinian university in the West Bank, requested AMIDEAST to sponsor a similar program for institutions in the West Bank.


Because it is not uncommon for adjustment problems to surface in any prolonged or intensive emersion in another culture,(10) an effort was made to construct a training experience that would be the most beneficial for both clients -- and the trainer. Most firms tend to focus exclusively on serving the client and expect the trainer to adjust accordingly. The unfortunate irony is that the unresolved intercultural tensions still manage to surface at some stage -- sometimes even long after the project is completed.

Additionally, as an independent trainer it may appear that I took advantages of "luxuries" such as scheduling and program design, that trainers working within a firm might not be able to. However, given the high-stress area, combined with an awareness that nearly 70% of professionals return prematurely from failed foreign ventures in developing countries,(11) a consciously decision was made to suspend notions of "luxuries" versus "necessities" and focus on what was important to eing able to do the job.

There were several logistical factors that were manipulated to aid the training effectiveness in Gaza. First, rather than use a group training format, four individual institutions were selected and each received intensive, individual, and personal attention.  These four institutions were used as "training models" in  work with other institutions and larger groups. The goal was to create a small core of trained professionals who could serve as resource persons during the actual project, but more importantly, after the project.  The goal was continuity.  Often times the training stops after the trainer leaves the area. Having a core group of resource persons would help ensure that in-depth knowledge was still available.

Second, because of the importance that interpersonal relations plays in the Palestinian culture, the decision was made to put a priority on interpersonal relations in the course of the training. The training model of working intensively with four institutions was a deliberate attempt to strengthen the interpersonal component of the training. Personally, I tried to give myself added time for this interpersonal component. I made "being relaxed" and leisurely sipping soda or meeting family and neighbors as important for me, as meeting a critical deadline was for the trainees. I knew that much of my professional credibility had nothing to do with "what I knew or what I could do," but rather how well I could listen and sometimes make idle, entertaining conversation. Establishing an effective rapport was a critical ingredient of professional trust and credibility.

Third, while given the option of choosing the participants, the decision was made to stay out of the selection process.. Instead, the sponsor was given the criteria of a successful candidate/institution and requested to select four participants for the core group. Several reasons prompted this decision. First, Gaza is a highly politicized area.  Selection processes for anything tend to be highly politicized as well.  Trainers cannot not afford to enter into any local political disputes without jeapordizing their credibility.   Also foreign trainers have their own cultural filters which can cloud the selection of any candidate.   It is quite possible for a trainer to select a candidate who would have been an excellent trainee, but who might later prove to be a poor resource person.

Finally, because second-language use was a factor for both myself and the trainees, every effort was made to use visual and experiential methods of communicating in order to reduce the possibility of language fatigue. Language fatigue not only reduces one's ability to concentrate, but literally causes the person to physically feel tired. Simply adding more breaks in a training session is often not enough to rejuvenate a person. Therefore, the two-day workshop incorporated "language breaks" during the actual training sessions in which the participants would be able to interactive in their native tongue while still working with important training concepts. Such language break activities included role playing, briefings by one of the resource trainees, and visual exercises. Through this method, the large group training was able to progress smoothly -- and enjoyably -- for two consecutive 8-hour days.

In assessing the overall intercultural training experience, three key personal lessons emerged.   The three are really variations on the theme of stress awareness and stress reduction. There is something about the idea of working with other "people" and not "peoples" that makes the intercultural experience appear deceivingly easy. Before Gaza, I don't think I readily appreciated the role of stress in working in such a challenging environment. Before I tended to either underestimate the difficulties of working in such a setting or overestimate my own abilities to perform under any condititions. Gaza taught me otherwise.

First, I learned the necessity of realistically assessing as many limitations as I could, especially personal ones. In Gaza, I was working in a restrictive political climate, a conservative socio-cultural environment, an underdeveloped economy with minimal infrastructure and available resources. I also faced gender and language hurdles. These were the objective limitations. For each of these limitations, I soon discovered corresponding personal limitations. For example, in such a political climate I endured harassment and witnessed human rights violations on a daily basis. This took an emotional toll on me, draining the positive energy I needed to go into a training session. Accordingly, I spaced my work out, giving myself time to regroup. Similarly, the underdeveloped infrastructure stretched the limits of my patience. Rather than endure hours of frustration, I adjusted my expectations for myself and the project to produce what would "fit" the situation I was in, instead of the idea I had brought with me from the United States.

Second, I learned to keep a balance between the needs of my clients and my own ability to function as an effective trainer. Gaza, as a training setting, was undoubtedly stressful. It was easy to become overwhelmed by the magnitude of the client's needs. Culturally, it is impolite to refuse requests outright. Therefore, I tried to anticipate my client's needs and requests, to assess these potential requests in terms of own time and work schedule. I then took the initiative to raise these potential requests with my client -- before they did. This approach served to strengthen my credibility with my client. Also, it gave me more control over arranging my schedule. Because I raised the issue first, I found my client more agreeable to negotiating over scheduling conflicts.

Third, I learned to forget about "working harder," and instead learned to "work lighter and more creatively." Intercultural challenges tend to be the norm rather than the exception. Such challenges and frustrations in non-intellectual terms meant added stress. Also, situations which contributed to a feeling of 'loss of control', such as dealing with the poor infrastructure or unfamiliar cultural restrictions, also meant added stress. Research has shown two curious features of stress: (1) people are often unaware that they are experiencing stress; and (2) that people experiencing stress tend to become rigid, repetitive and are unable to think of creative options. Therefore, whenever I was faced with an obstacle, challenge, or frustration, instead adding more stress by trying to push through it, or "work harder," I tried to pull back and reduce areas of stress, and then look for creative options. This is what I mean by "working lighter and more creatively." Incidentially, the idea of "working lighter and more creatively" increased my productivity so substantially, that I decided to bring it back with me to use in the U.S., as a small training lesson suvenir.


As more and more trainers venture into international settings, how they handle cross-culture factors on the ground may be more important than the professional expertise they bring with them. This paper related a communication training project in the Gaza Strip. Although Gaza is not one's typical training locale, it does share many features that other trainers may encounter in non-Western areas. The study highlighted cultural dimensions that served to shape the design of the training project as well as the training itself. In outlining lessons learned, the study addressed critical needs of trainers working in high stress, cross-cultural settings. It is hoped that other trainers and scholars can gain insights from this case study.



2. A. Almaney and A. Alwan, Communicating with the Arabs. Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press, 1982.

3. Margaret K. Nydell, Understanding Arabs: A guide for Westerners. Yarmouth, Maine: Intercultural Press, 1987.

4. Edward T. Hall, The Hidden Dimension. New York: Anchor, 1969.

5.  H. Trandis, R. Brislin, C. Hui, "Cross-cultural training across the individualism- collectivism divide," International Journal of Intercultural Relations 12 (1988), pp. 269- 289.

6. S. Deetz, "Metaphor Analysis," in W. Gudykunst and Y. Kim (Eds.), Methods for intercultural communication research. Beverly Hills: Sage, 1984; W. Starosta, "On intercultural rhetoric," in W. Gudykunst and Y. Kim (Eds.), Methods for intercultural communication research. Beverly Hills: Sage, 1984; E. Stewart, American cultural patterns. Chicago: Intercultural Press, 1982.

7.  Janice Anderson, "A comparison of Arab and American conceptions of 'effective' persuasion," in L. Samovar & R. Porter (Eds.) Intercultural communication: A reader (7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1994; H. Hamod, "Arab and Moslem rhetorical theory and practice," Central States Speech Journal 14 (1963), pp. 97-104; and R. Cohen, "Problems of intercultural communication in Egyptian-American diplomatic relations," International Journal of Intercultural Relations 11 (1987), pp. 29-47.

8. R.S. Zaharna, "Rhetorical ethnocentricism: Time Magazine and Arab rhetoric," Paper presented to the Speech Communication Association national convention, New Orleans, November, 1994.

9. Edward Stanton, "PR's future is here: Worldwide, integrated communication," Public Relations Quarterly Spring (1991), pp. 46-47.