The themes of time and space tend to reinforce one another illustrating a difference in perspective from general Western assumptions about the time/space continuum.
Like time, space is conceived of in organic and personal terms by Middle Easterners. Even in towns and cities, the physical geography of a building or an area speaks of the paramount concerns for a sense of hierarchy, a separation of sex roles and the submersion of the person in the goals of the group.
The medina of a city, and especially the central bazaar, is a world in itself. The main aim of the bazaar is not to help competition and economic growth, but to ensure equality of benefit and social interaction.
In many Muslim societies, especially at the level of bazaar and medina, the concept of ‘limited good’ functions as a leveler. The physical layout of the bazaar enables this tension to work.
In the confines of a home, ‘space’ is not a very important commodity. People, not things, nor primarily palace, make ‘home’.
Space conveys shades of relationship. They don’t like it being invaded.
One of the first uncomfortable realisations that a Westerner undergoes as he gets to know Arabs is that the Arab chooses to converse head on, at a small distance and in a loud voice. It is not strange to find two moving around a room each seeking to be comfortable, in spatial terms, with the level of interaction going on.