You probably could’ve guessed that Saudi Arabia is an… interesting place for female travelers. In Australia and most western countries, the thumbs up is a positive sign. The Peninsula's constituent countries are (clockwise from north to south) Kuwait, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on the east, Oman on the southeast, Yemen on the south, and Saudi Arabia at the center. “He was the one guy that I never crossed paths with, and the heat – I knew going in it was going to be hot. The president's stop in Saudi Arabia … Thumbs down for a thumbs up? Iraqis are giving passing Americans the “thumbs up” sign, which the troops interpret as a symbol of support. This gesture can be seen extensively when driving in the crowded streets of the Arab cities. Holding the fingers in a pear shaped position with the tips pointing up at about the waist level and moving the hand slightly up and down signals “Slow down” or “Wait a little bit” or “Be patient”. The island country of Bahrain lies just off the east coast of the Peninsula. The thumbs-up signals approval in the U.S. and on Facebook, but in … Saudi Arabia was founded by Abdulaziz bin Saud in 1932. But many veteran travelers insist that the gesture is a crass Middle Eastern insult. It's widely believed that this gesture goes back to Roman times when gladiators fought in front of the emperor and eager crowds in the Colosseum. Avoid Using In: United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand.. Thumbs-Up. It … It came under the control of the Saud dynasty (of the Najd region) after the Wahhabi invasion in 1924 ousted Hussein ibn Ali, the sharif of Mecca, and his son. The fallen gladiator's fate was decided by the audience. The thumbs-up gesture apparently goes back a lot further. It is the only nation with both a Red Sea coast and a Persian Gulf coast. If they felt he had fought well, they showed their approval with a thumbs-up gesture. 1. 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