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Executive Officers Notice 26-49

By Levi Clancy for Student Reader on

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Addendum #1 to Executive Officers Notice No, 26-49.

Subject: North Africa.

NORTH AFRICA: During your visit to the various ports of North Africa there are certain things that you should consider again and again in order to make you a better than average visitor to the foreign lands and to improve your knowledge in the customs and traditions of these people. They are as proud of their customs and traditions as we are of ours in the Navy. Although they have not compiled them into a written guide as we have (Navy Regs) there are so many well known unwritten customs which give offense when broken, even through ignorance.

Do you know that when offered coffee or tea by a native host that the polite thing is to accept three cups -- if offered - but under no circumstances to accept a fourth? To drink less than three is considered ill-bred as it is to take more than that. Another thing, never refuse or throw away part of it away.

You may be left handed son, but over here, while eating, become ambidextrous and pitch in with that right hand ONLY.

Do you know that the religion of the Moslems forbids the use of intoxicants?

Do you know there is an herb called "keef" which some Moslems smoke? It's dangerous and here's why. In our country it's known as marijuana and makes the smoker careless, and talkative. It is habit forming and produces a very rapid moral deterioration in the smoker. Moslem authorities condemn it, French law prohibits it, but still there exists a large bootleg traffic. Personnel from this ship will strictly avoid any contact with this drug.

Do you know that the Nomadic people in this area value their Camels and Horses above all other possessions. Raising Camels, Stealing Camels, and riding Camels into a fight are considered as the most honorable of employments. Many Camel riders of the Sahara are Professional Bandits.

Here are a few of the rules to be strictly observed in regards to Moslem women:
Never Stare at One.
Never Jostle her in a crowd.
Never speak to her in public.
Never try to remove the veil.
There are most important. Serious injury if not death at the hands of Moslems may result through the failure to observe native customs.

REGARDING SHOPS AND MARKETS It is also wise to greet the shop keeper as ceremoniously as if he were your host. Bargaining and haggling over prices are expected. By accepting it as a game you should be able to get from one to two-thirds knocked off the original price. Bargaining must be done politely. WATCH OUT FOR PICK-POCKETS. KEEP YOUR MONEY OUR OF YOUR TOP UPPER POCKET. These people grab your money and disappear.

NATIVE CUSTOMS IN BRIEF When in Moslem countries here are several more rules which should be observed:
Don't enter Mosques.
Never smoke or spit in front of a Mosque.
If you come near a Mosque, keep moving and don't loiter.
Keep silent when Moslems are praying, and don't stare.
Discuss something else - never religion or women - with a Moslem.
Avoid offering opinions or internal politics.
Moslems are very modest, avoid any exposure of the body.
Start eating only after your host has begun.
Eat with your right hand - never with your left - even if you are a southpaw.
Always break bread with your fingers, never cut it.
Bread to the Moslems is Holy, Don't throw it about, or let scraps of it fall on the floor.
Leave some food in the bowl, what yu leave goes to the women and children.
Eat only part of the first course -- there may be four or five coming.
Don't give Moslems food containing pork, bacon, bacon [sic] or lard, or cooked in pork products.
Don't [eat] pork or pork products in front of Moslems.
Don't give Moslems alcoholic drinks, they don't.
Drink liquor somewhere else, never in the presence of Moslems.
Knock before entering a house, If a women answers wait until she has had a chance to retire before entering.
Follow the rules of your host. If he takes off his shoes do the same.
If you are required to sit on the floor, cross your legs while doing so.
When visiting, don't overstay your welcome. The third glass of tea or coffee is a sign its [sic] time to go.
Don't bring a dog into the house.