When the ambient fear level is high, as in civil war-riven Lebanon, loyalties are kept close to home. Me against my brother. My brother and me against our cousins. We and our cousins against the world. Alliances merge and are broken quickly, along a sliding scale that appears to be remarkably consistent.
The general trend seems to be this:the lower the ambient fear level declines, the more broadly a human being appears willing to define those tribal boundaries, and the more generous he or she is willing to be toward the stranger.