A video clip of the meeting held by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, on Friday, in Downing Street, sparked widespread controversy on social media in the Arab world.
The video shows Sonak and the Emir of Qatar sitting on the chairs assigned to them, and Sonak placing a man on a man, directing his left foot towards the Emir of Qatar, so that Sheikh Tamim immediately puts his right leg on the left, directing his foot towards Sonak.
The tweeters praised the reaction of the Emir of Qatar, and compared it to a similar situation that occurred during Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s meeting with former US President Barack Obama during his second term in 2014 in the United States of America.
Crossing legs, according to a report prepared by the UAE Ministry of the Interior, is considered inappropriate in Arab culture and may be interpreted as an insult. The report, “Beware of the Cultural Gap”, prepared specifically for foreigners and in English, deals with the most important cultural differences and various advice.
The report adds that the “legs crossed” gesture may be seen as a sign of impatience.
The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad, accompanied by his wife, Sheikha Jawaher bint Hamad bin Suhaim Al Thani, will participate in the coronation ceremony of King Charles III, Saturday, in London, Britain.