Understanding the Culture of Iraq

Video Transcript

(Note: This transcript has been edited for readability.)

"I think it’s critical that you understand the culture before you go in it. The first time, I was in Iraq for six straight years and my first month I was way behind the learning curve. So what you cannot be afraid of doing is asking questions. I would ask my peers how did they behave, how do you react, how do you ask these questions when dealing with the Iraqis. Because one of the things I wanted to make sure is that I did not do anything that would hurt them, whether it had to do with their manners [or] their way of doing things. So it’s critical not to be afraid to ask questions because that’s what I think helped me quite a bit the first few months I was there."

In this video, a military service member explains why understanding the culture of a region is crucial.