Here are some interesting shots I got at the camel races a couple of weeks ago. This is a common sight here. I have often been puzzled by this. It is frowned on in Middle Eastern countries for men and women to have any public display of affection, yet it is very acceptable to see two men holding hands or linking arms. I almost get a little jealous when I see this, knowing that I cannot reach over and grab Brett's hand or give him a good bye kiss when I drop him off at the university. In some twisted way this seems to be a double standard. I know that this practice also takes place with the Indian, Malaysian, Nepalese, and Filipino part of the population here. It is not unusual to see women walking closely holding hands either.
This proves, at least in my mind, that human beings need that physical touch from someone, especially in public where some of us need reassurance and strength from those closest to us. So, because it is taboo to hold their sweetheart's hand, men here reach out to their buddies for that need to be met. I'm not even adding any gay issues into this equation, because didn't you know, there are no gay people in the Middle East. :)