Levantine men from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Palestine are much more liberal than Gulf Arab Men and much more grounded in traditional male gender roles than North African Arabs. What rules them the most is the role of their mothers in their lives.
Here’s how Arab mothers treat their baby boys:
# 1 Marriage is the ultimate life goal
Finding the perfect wife is the mother’s ultimate goal. She will teach her son from childbirth that having a good wife is all that matters. For some, that’s not far from the truth. She will most likely pick the woman out because she understands her son best but no woman is ever good enough.
# 2 Boys must be well-fed
It’s all about feeding the man. If you’re not eating, there’s something wrong with you and you’re sick. Nobody likes a skinny man and strength comes from the amount of food you swallow. Of course, every Arab mother will make her baby’s favourite whenever he’s home or whenever he desires.
#3 Men are saints. All their sins are forgiven.
Regardless of religion, culture, customs, traditions and any other regimen under the sun, a Levantine man can do wrong and still be forgiven. Men are the ultimate productions in the Middle East and the Levantines are no strangers to this concept. The man could be a thief and his mother would say it it’s a phase, he could be fat and she’d tell him he was well-fed, he could be under-educated and she’d tell him it’s best because nobody wants a woman smarter than him. Men are raised in this way and this is the reason for their ever-present ego.
#4 She’s the point of reference on life’s big decisions
It starts when they’re teenagers.
“Where are you going?”
“Who are you with?”
“You’re not wearing that”
This progresses to…
“I don’t think you should be with this girl”
“You’re studying medicine, law or engineering. Nothing else”
“Don’t take that job, it’s too far away from me”
“You’re not marrying this woman and I’ll die before I allow it”