Role Play: Danes and Arabs Negotiating Across Cultures in Qatar  

This was a meeting you will never forget. Your team arrived in Qatar yesterday for further meetings regarding a contract with a major shipping company. To your surprise, your contacts Hassan and Hamid were not at the airport to meet you, so for the first time you had to take a taxi to the hotel.

This morning neither Hassan nor Hamid came to the hotel. You asked the desk clerk to call a taxi and as you leave the desk clerk informs you that a mob has just attacked the Danish embassy, which is now burning. When you are shown into the conference room you are relieved to finally see your friends Hassan and Hamid, with whom you have built a good relationship over the last few months.

But this morning your two friends are not smiling at all. And sitting with them is an older Arab gentleman you have not met before, his face wearing a very severe expression. Through the conference room window you can see clouds of black smoke rising from the direction of the Danish embassy building.

Before Hassan can introduce you to Sheik Abu Abdul, the older man leans across the table and hands you some papers which you see are pixilated prints of the famous Danish cartoons of the Prophet. In an angry voice the older Arab says, “How could you do this to us? Why do you Danes print such blasphemous attacks on our Holy Prophet Mohammed?”

You both sit there for a moment, groping for the proper response.

Five Characters

– Three Arabs: Hassan, Hamid and Sheik Abu Abdul

– Two Danes.

Two Scenes

– Scene One: A five-minute role play showing how not to handle this situation.

– Scene Two: A five-minute role play showing how these Danes should handle the situation.

You have 30 minutes to prepare and rehearse these two role plays.