Perhaps one could differentiate Western from Middle Eastern culture in terms of the former being a reality culture and the latter a value culture. For Middle Easterners, facts are more negotiable commodities.
The biblical world, like those of many contemporary Muslims, is one in which value is far more significant than surface reality. Nevertheless, Jesus Christ has a challenge to make to a worldview in which value comes to be enthroned at the expense of the real. In the parable of the two sons – one who did what is father asked and the other did not – in Jesus’ view, it is the son who does the deed, whatever his immediate words, who most closely conforms to the ideal of obedience.
Sometimes it is very hard to get a straight answer from a Middle Easterner about when something is going to happen. The Arabic phrase in sha’a ‘llah (if God wills) could mean ‘definitely yes’, ‘definitely no’ or any shade of response in between those two extremes.