Some of our young Muslim Arab Americans are dating, too. It is time for us to recognize this so we can have healthy and informative conversations around these topics, that ultimately protect our youth from abusive and toxic relationships, intimate partner violence, and sexual assault. These deeply rooted cultural and religious beliefs deter parents from talking to their children about healthy intimate partner relationships or anything to do with sex, which increases risk factors for sexually transmitted diseases, sexual assault, and harmful gender norms that contribute to violence against women and girls within our community.
This is assault. Then, they feel as if they have no one to turn to because of the shame, stigma, and fear placed on them by both the intimate partner and the family. I think our best chance to protect our youth is to be open and honest with them about relationships. Keep the door open to those types of conversations and do not shroud these topics in fear and shame. We need to educate our youth on these issues in a way that is empowering, non-judgmental, and purposeful.
If you or someone you know is a survivor of sexual violence, our trained advocates are available to talk 24 hours a day toll-free at VOICES-4 Learn More. This is web-based, survivors are encouraged to clear their web browser after each contact. Of the sites living in earn and shia singles. United kingdom. If you the largest dating platform arab singles and have come https: Totally free swinging site. Fiftydating will give you to do! You have come to polish dating site.
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Elahi emphasized the importance of family in the community, adding that the families in our society are in crisis, as divorce rates are rising and marriage rates are declining. A healthy family leads to healthy community. A better family leads to a better America.
The relationship should be honest and pure. Elahi explained that when young people date, they have different expectations of each other, which can lead to depression and anger if they are not fulfilled. He urged community members not to operate emotionally only and use their intellect when it comes to dating and marriage.
However, Elahi added that men and women are held to the same ethical and religious standards in Islam. Elahi also urged the engagement of the community in dealing with the youth issue, where stable, experienced people and experts would volunteer and mentor others.
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In February of , the U. Early Arab immigrants assimilated easily into American society facilitated by the fact that the majority were Christian. Aside from barely discernable Arabic names beneath anglicized surnames and a preference for some Old World dishes, they retained few traces of their ethnic roots. Many were successful, some achieving celebrity status. At the turn of the century when the first wave immigrated, the Arab world still languished under Ottoman Turkish rule, then four centuries old.
Arab and regional national consciousness was still nascent. By the time the second wave immigrants arrived in mid-century, the Arab world was in the process of shaking off the European colonial rule that had carved up much of the Middle East after the breakup of the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I.
In the s and s the Arab countries resonated with nationalist ideologies, and the Arab world was filled with promise and hope, especially regarding the question of Palestine and Arab national unity—two of the burning issues of the day. These ideological currents profoundly influenced many second-wave immigrants. The second wave of Arab immigrants was able to assimilate into mainstream society without much resistance. This wave tended to retain some distinctive features of its ethnic past because many of the newcomers were Muslim, contributing to the retention of a distinct cultural identity.
The establishment of cultural clubs, political committees, and Arabic language schools helped maintain a cultural identity and a political awareness among many new arrivals and their children. Arriving in the s and s, the third wave of Arab immigrants encountered a negative reception from the host society. Instead of assimilating, these new immigrants often opted to remain on the outskirts of society, even while adopting many American cultural mores.
The third wave has been the driving force behind the recent upsurge in the establishment of Muslim schools, mosques, charities, and Arabic language classes. Collectively many Arab Americans have experienced cultural marginalization. Arabs, Muslims, and Middle Easterners generally have been vilified in the news media, in Hollywood productions, in pulp novels, and in political discourse. Arab Americans cope with their marginality in one of three different ways: denying their ethnic identity; withdrawing into an ethnic enclave; or engaging mainstream society through information campaigns aimed at the news media, book publishers, politicians, and schools.
The theme of these campaigns centers on the inherent unfairness of, and pitfalls in, stereotyping Arabs, Muslims, and Middle Easterners. In , the cable television network TNT announced that it would never again show movies that blatantly bash Arabs and Arab Americans.
The types of Arab Americans who choose to deny their ethnic background cover the spectrum: recent arrivals, assimilated immigrants, and native-born. Among the American-born, denial takes the form of a complete break with one's ethnicity in favor of wholesale adoption of American culture.
Others, particularly immigrants, tend to stress their distinctiveness from Arab and Islamic culture, as when Iraqi Christians stress their Chaldean identity as opposed to their Iraqi affiliation. Arab Americans who opt to withdraw into an ethnic enclave tend to be recent immigrants.
Running the gamut from unskilled workers to middle-class professionals, this group prefers to live in ethnic neighborhoods, or close to other members of the same group in the suburbs. They believe that their ethnic culture and religious traditions are alien to American culture, and hence need to minimize assimilation. Cultural marginalization is the price of living in American society.
Those who advocate engaging society head-on seek to win societal acceptance of Arab Americans as an integral part of America's cultural plurality. The integrationists adopt several strategies. Some stress the common bonds between Arab or Islamic values and American values, emphasizing strong family ties. They also focus on the commonalities between Christianity and Islam. Others seek to confront anti-Arab stereotyping and racism by emphasizing that they are Americans who happen to be of Arab ancestry.
Along with well-assimilated, native-born Arab Americans, this group also consists of foreign-born professionals who wish to maintain their ethnic identity free from stigmatization by the wider culture. Foremost among the key issues facing the Arab American community is dealing with the rising numbers of new immigrants. The current stream of Arab immigrants is expected to increase as political instability and civil conflict within various Arab countries grows.
Customs center on hospitality around food, socializing with family and friends, and a preference to reside close to relatives. Arab Americans generally harbor negative attitudes toward dating and premarital sex, especially for females. Educational achievement and economic advancement are viewed positively, as are the maintenance of strong family ties and the preservation of female chastity and fidelity.
Arab American beliefs about the United States are extremely positive, particularly regarding the availability of economic opportunities and political freedoms. Socially, however, Arab Americans feel that American society is highly violent, rather promiscuous, too lenient toward offenders, and somewhat lax on family values. A common American stereotype about Arabs emphasizes that they are by definition Muslims and therefore are bloodthirsty, fanatical, and anti-Western.
Another misconception is that Iranians are Arabs, when most Iranians are Persians who speak Farsi, an Indo-European language, which uses Arabic script. Arabic, on the other hand, belongs to the Semitic language family. Other misconceptions and stereotypes include: Arabs are desert nomads; however, only two percent of contemporary Arab society is nomadic; and, Arabs oppress women.
While formal laws protecting women's equality are fewer in Arab countries than the United States, the prevalence of rape and physical abuse of women in the Arab world appears to be lower than in American society. Stereotypes of Arab culture and society abound in Western literary works, scholarly research, and in the news and entertainment media. Typical of the fiction genre is Leon Uris's celebrated novel Exodus , in which the Arab country of Palestine is repeatedly depicted as a "fruitless, listless, dying land.
These and other examples are examined in Janice J. A study of the cultural antecedents of Arab and Muslim stereotyping in Western culture is found in Edward W. Said's highly acclaimed work, Orientalism The most pronounced dietary injunction followed by Arab Muslims is the religious prohibition on the consumption of pork. Many Arab Christians also disdain the consumption of pork, but for cultural reasons. Muslims are required to consume meat that is ritually slaughtered halal. In response to the growing demand for halal meats, many enterprising Arab American grocers have in recent years set up halal meat markets.
Arab Americans have a distinctive cuisine centered on lamb, rice, bread, and highly seasoned dishes. The Middle Eastern diet consists of many ingredients not found in the average American kitchen, such as chick peas, lentils, fava beans, ground sesame seed oil, olive oil, olives, feta cheese, dates, and figs. Many Arab dishes, like stuffed zucchini or green peppers and stuffed grape or cabbage leaves, are highly labor-intensive.
Virtually no items of traditional clothing are worn by Arab Americans. The exception is the tendency of some immigrant women, particularly those from peasant stock, who wear traditional dress. Among the most dramatic are the colorfully embroidered dresses worn by some Palestinian women in certain neighborhoods of Detroit and Dearborn. More common are the plain-colored head scarfs worn by many Lebanese and other Arab Muslim females. Some Arab and other Muslim women occasionally don long, shapeless dresses, commonly called Islamic dresses, in addition to the head scarf.
Arab Americans continue many of their traditions and celebrations in the United States. Men rarely wear traditional garb in public. At some traditional wedding parties individuals might don an Arab burnoose. Many foreign-born men of all ages are fond of carrying worry beads, which they unconsciously run through their fingers while engaging in conversation or while walking. The Arabic language retains a classical literary form which is employed on formal occasions oratory, speeches, and university lectures and in most forms of writing, some novels and plays excepted.
Everyday speech is the province of the many and varied regional and local dialects. It is these dialects and, in the case of highly assimilated Arab Americans, their remnants, that a visitor among Arab Americans is likely to encounter. For the most part, speakers of different dialects can make themselves understood to speakers of other dialects. This is especially true when closely related dialects Lebanese, Syrian, Palestinian, Jordanian are involved, and less so among geographically distant dialects.
The great exception is the Egyptian dialect which is familiar to most speakers of Arabic because of the widespread influence of the Egyptian movie and recording industries, and the dominant cultural role Egypt has traditionally played in the Middle East. Some basic Arabic greetings include: marhaba "mar-ha-ba" —hello, and its response ahlen "ahlen" —welcome colloquial greetings in Lebanese, Syrian, Palestinian, and Jordanian dialects.
Egyptians would say: Azayyak "az-zay-yak" —How are you? A more formal greeting, readily understood throughout the Arabic-speaking world is: asalaam 'a laykum "a-sa-lamb ah-laykum" —greetings, peace be upon you. The proper response is wa 'a laykum asalaam "wa-ah-laykum a-sa-lamb" —and peace be upon you, too.
In Arab society members of two or three generations dwell in a single household or, in wealthier families, in a family compound. This extended household centers around a married man and some of his adult sons and their families. A grandparent may also reside in the household.
A variation on this structure is for several brothers and their respective families to reside in a compound with a grandparent and other elderly relatives. Among Arab Americans, the large extended family constituting a single household is found only among recent immigrants. As families acculturate and assimilate they tend to form nuclear families with, occasionally, the addition of an elderly grandparent, and an unmarried adult child.
Among less assimilated families, adult married children set up a household near their parents and married siblings. This arrangement allows the maintenance of extended family networks while enjoying the benefits of living in a nuclear family. American-style dating is virtually non-existent among all but the most assimilated Arab Americans.
Dating conflicts with strict cultural norms about female chastity and its relationship to the honor of the woman and her family. The norm stipulates that a female should be chaste prior to marriage and remain faithful once wed. Similar standards apply to males, but expectations are reduced and the consequences of violations are not as severe.
The ethics relating to female chastity cut across social class, religious denomination, and even ethnic lines, as they are found with equal vigor in virtually every Middle Eastern ethnic and national group. Real or alleged violations of the sexual mores by a female damages not only her reputation and diminishes her chances of finding a suitable marriage partner, but also shames her family, especially her male kinsmen.
Among Arab American Muslims a type of dating is allowed after a woman undergoes a ritual engagement. In Islam, the enactment of the marriage contract kitb al-kitab amounts to a trial period in which the couple become acquainted with one another. This period can last months or even a year or more.
If successful, the marriage will be consummated after a public ceremony. During this period, the family of an engaged woman will permit her to go out with the fiance but only with a chaperon. The fiance will pay her visits and the couple may be allowed to talk privately together, but this will be the only time they are allowed to be alone until the wedding. It is perfectly acceptable for one or both parties to terminate the engagement at this point rather than face the prospect of an unhappy marriage.
Arab culture prefers endogamous marriages— especially between cousins. This preference is, however, not uniform throughout Arab society. It is not strong among some Christian groups like Egypt's Copts, and among certain educated elite. In general, the ideal marriage in Arab society is for a man to marry the daughter of his paternal uncle. The ideal is achieved in only a small percentage of all marriages.
Marriages among cousins on either the paternal and maternal side are relatively common. The preference for cousin endogamy is found among immigrant families, but declines among highly assimilated and native-born Arab Americans. Arranged marriages are common among recent immigrants.
Arranged marriages run the gamut from the individual having no voice in the matter and no prior acquaintance with a prospective marriage partner to the family arranging a meeting between their son or daughter and a prospective mate they have selected. In the latter situation, the son or daughter will usually make the final decision. This pattern is prevalent among assimilated immigrant and native-born families, especially if they are educated or have high aspirations for their children.
Some working-class immigrant families in Dearborn, Michigan, for example, arrange the marriage of their daughters, who are sometimes legal minors, to men in the home country. This practice seems to be limited to a small minority. While not all Arab Americans practice cousin endogamy or engage in arranged marriages, most demonstrate a strong preference for religious endogamy in the selection of marriage partners. In this Arab Americans retain a deeply-rooted Middle Eastern bias.
Many Arab Americans live within an Arabized subculture that has enabled them to maintain their distinct ethnic culture. However, interdenominational marriages are not uncommon among educated Arab Americans. Arab Americans find it easier to marry a non-Arab of a different religious background than enter into an inter-religious marriage with a fellow Arab American. This is especially true of Arab American men, who unlike women, find it easier to marry an outsider.
There is a powerful familial resistance to letting Arab American women marry outside the group. An Arab Muslim woman who was unable to find a mate from within her group, could marry a non-Arab Muslim e. Arab Christian women facing a similar situation would opt to marry an outsider as long he was Christian.
In selecting a marriage partner, attention is paid to family standing and reputation. Since dating and other forms of mixing are virtually non-existent, there are few opportunities for prospective mates to meet, let alone learn about each other. Thus parents and other interested relatives must rely heavily on community gossip about a prospective suitor or bride. Under such conditions, the family standing of the prospective mate will be of major interest.
The strict segregation of the sexes is inevitably weakening because American society poses many opportunities for unrelated males and females to meet at school or on the job. Consequently, there is a detectable increase in the number of cases of romantic involvement among young Arab Americans in cities where large numbers of Arab Americans reside.
But many of these relations are cut short by families because they fail to win their approval. Divorce, once unheard of in Arab society, is increasingly making a presence among Arab Americans although it is nowhere near the proportions found among mainstream Americans. Recent immigrants appear less likely than assimilated Arab Americans to resolve marital unhappiness through divorce. Boys and girls are reared differently, though the degree is determined by the level of assimilation. Boys are generally given greater latitude than girls.
At the extreme end of the spectrum, girls are Young Arab American women have a greater number of freedoms growing up in America than in their homeland. High school is the upper limit for girls in very traditional immigrant homes, though some post-high school education is expected among educated households. The daughters of professionals are usually encouraged to pursue careers.
Middle Eastern families tend to favor boys over girls, and this preference extends to wide segments of the Arab American community. In a few traditional homes, girls are not allowed to ride bicycles or play certain sports, while boys are otherwise indulged. The oldest son usually enjoys a measure of authority over younger siblings, especially his sisters.
He is expected to eventually carry the mantle of authority held by the father. Women play important roles in socializing children and preserving kinship ties and in maintaining social and religious traditions. The degree of hospitality in the home is held up as a measure of a family's standing among Arabs everywhere, and in this respect Arab Americans are no different. Guests are given a special place at the dinner table where they are feted in a ritual display of hospitality arranged by the women of the household.
Outside the home, the role of Arab American women has fluctuated with the ebb and flow of the immigration tide. As communities become assimilated, women tend to assume leadership roles in community organizations in the mosque or church, or in community-wide endeavors like the organization of parochial schools. With each new influx of immigrants, assimilated women tend to lose ground in those institutions that attract new immigrants e.
Quickly women who at one time were among the leadership find themselves taking a back seat or even ousted from the institution. Education is highly valued among wide segments of the community. Affluent households prefer private schools. Working class and middle class members tend to send their children to public schools. A recent trend in some Arab American Muslim communities is the growth of Islamic parochial schools. These schools, favored by recent immigrants of all classes, are still in their infancy.
In her analysis of the census data, ElBadry found that Arab Americans are generally better educated than the average American. The proportion of those who did not attend college is lower than the national average, while the number of those attaining master's degrees or higher is twice that of the general population.
Foreign-born Arab professionals overwhelmingly prefer the fields of engineering, medicine, pharmacy, and the sciences in general. Although native-born Arab Americans can be found working in virtually every field, there is a preference for careers in business, medicine, law, and engineering. There are few formalized traditions of philanthropy in the community. Arab Muslims, like all Muslims, are enjoined to give a certain percentage of their annual income to charity as a zakat tithe.
But large contributions to community projects are not part of the community's tradition. The three religious holidays celebrated by Arab American Muslims are also celebrated by Muslims everywhere. Ramadan is a month-long dawn-to-dusk fast that occurs during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Ramadan is a month of self-discipline as well as spiritual and physical purification. The fast requires complete abstinence from food, drink including water , tobacco, and sex, from sunrise to sunset during the entire month.
Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan. A cross between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Eid is a festive and joyous occasion for Muslims everywhere. Eid al-Adha, the Feast of the Sacrifice, commemorates the Prophet Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael in obedience to God. According to the Quran, the Muslim holy book which is considered to be the word of God, the Angel Gabriel intervened at the last moment, substituting a lamb in place of Ishmael.
The holiday is held in conjunction with the Hajj, the Pilgrimage to Mecca, in which increasing numbers of American Muslims are participating. Some Arab Muslim families celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmas. Muslims recognize Jesus as an important prophet, but do not consider him divine. They use the occasion of Christmas to exchange gifts, and some have adopted the custom of decorating a Christmas tree. Arab American Christians observe major Christian holidays.
Easter is observed on the Sunday after Passover, rather than on the date established by the Roman church. In addition, the Eastern Churches, particularly the Coptic church, mark numerous religious occasions, saints' days, and the like, throughout the year. Christians still comprise the majority of Arab Americans nationally.
The Muslim component is growing fast, however, and in some areas, Muslims constitute an overwhelming majority of Arab Americans. In the beginning, all Middle Eastern churches followed Eastern rites. Over the centuries, schisms occurred in which the seceders switched allegiance to Rome, forming the Uniate churches. Although the Uniate churches formally submit to the authority of the Roman pope and conform to Latin rites, they continue to maintain their own patriarchs and internal autonomy.
Like the Eastern churches, the Uniates also allow priests to marry though monks and bishops must remain celibate. The Middle East churches retain distinct liturgies, which are recited in ancient Coptic, Aramaic, Syriac, or Chaldean depending upon the particular sect. The schism dates to an early conflict in Islam over the succession of the Caliphate —leader—of the religious community following the death of the Prophet Muhammad.
The Sunni faction won out, eliminating leaders of the opposing faction lead by the Prophet's nephew, Ali, and his sons. Ali's followers came to be known as the Shia —the partisans. Over time the Shiites developed some unique theological doctrines and other trappings of a distinct sect, although to Sunnis, the differences appear inconsequential.
The majority of Arab American Muslims are Sunni. The most significant change Muslims make in adapting Islamic ritual to life in the United States is moving the Friday sabbath prayer to Sunday. For decades, Arab American Muslims have resigned themselves to the fact that, because of job and school obligations, they would not be able to observe Friday communal prayers, or jumaa.
Recently, however, growing numbers of worshippers attend jumaa. Arab American Muslims also forego some of the five daily prayers devout Muslims are obligated to perform because of a lack of facilities and support from mainstream institutions. Technically, Muslims can pray at work or school if the employer or school authorities provide a place. Increasing numbers of devout Muslims insist on meeting their ritual obligations while on the job. Religious disputes tend to be confined largely to competition between groups within the same sect rather than between sects.
Thus, for example, in Dearborn, Michigan, which has a large population of Lebanese Shiites, competition is rife among various Shiite mosques and religious centers for followers from the Shiite community. Sunnis in the area generally belong to Sunni congregations, and are not viewed as potential recruits by the Shiites. Similarly, Arab Christian denominations tend to remain insular and eschew open rivalry with other denominations. In her review of the census data El-Badry estimated that 60 percent of Arab Americans work as executives, professionals, salespeople, administrative support, or service personnel, compared to 66 percent of the general population.
Many Arab Americans are entrepreneurs or self-employed 12 percent versus seven percent of the general population. Arab Americans are concentrated in sales; one out of five works in the retail sales industry, slightly higher than the U. Of these, El-Badry observes, 29 percent work in restaurants, from managers to busboys. Another 18 percent work in grocery stores, seven percent in department stores, and six percent in apparel and accessory outlets.
Data on Arab Americans receiving unemployment benefits are nonexistent. However, in the southend neighborhood of Dearborn, where several thousand mostly recent Yemeni and Lebanese immigrants reside, many felt the brunt of the early s economic recession which hit Detroit's automobile industry particularly hard. Although politically marginalized, Arab Americans have attempted to gain a voice in U. The first national organization dedicated to such a purpose was the Association of Arab American University Graduates, Inc.
Founded in the aftermath of the devastating Arab defeat by Israel in the June war, the AAUG sought to educate Americans about the Arab, and especially the Palestinian, side of the conflict. The group continues to serve as an important forum for debating issues of concern to Arab Americans. The early s saw the establishment of the first Arab American organization devoted exclusively to lobbying on foreign policy issues.
Named the National Association of Arab Americans, the organization continues to function at present. While not a lobby, ADC sensitizes the news media to issues of stereotyping. The organization has had less success with the entertainment media. More recently, the Arab American Institute AAI was established to encourage greater participation of Arab Americans in the electoral process as voters, party delegates, or candidates for office.
Arab American influence on local and state government is limited mainly to Dearborn and a few other localities where their numbers are sufficiently large to be felt by the political establishment. Get-out-the-vote campaigns have been moderately successful in this mostly immigrant, working-class community. Participation in unions is limited to the working class segment of the Arab American community.
While the history of this participation remains sketchy and incomplete, individual contributions have not escaped notice. In the s, another Arab American labor activist, George Addes, played an important role in the left coalition inside the United Auto Workers leadership. In August Nagi Daifallah, a Yemeni farm worker active in the United Farm Workers Union, was brutally gunned down with another organizer by a county sheriff.
At the time, California was emerging as a center for Yemeni immigrant workers. Yemeni and other Arab automobile workers were also active in union activities in the Detroit area in the s. Arab auto workers boycotted work on November 28, , forcing the closing of one of two lines at a Chrysler assembly plant. Arab Americans have made important contributions in virtually every field of endeavor, from government to belles lettres. Among the many Arab American academics, Edward W.
Said — stands out as a world-class intellectual. Born in Jerusalem, Palestine, and educated at Princeton and Harvard universities, Said has achieved international renown as a scholar in the fields of literary criticism and comparative literature. Murray Abraham —. Musicians include "Tiny Tim" Herbert Khaury; the ukelele-strumming, falsetto singer; surf guitarist Dick Dale b.
Arab Americans abound in the television and film industries. Khrystyne Haje starred on the television sitcom Head of the Class and was picked as one of the 50 most beautiful persons in the United States by People Magazine. Amy Yasbeck — and Tony Shalhoub — have become recognizable faces due to their work on the popular television sitcom Wings. On the show, Yasbeck played the lustful, money-hungry Casey Chapel while Shalhoub portrayed Antonio Scarpacci, a lonely taxi driver.
No list of Arab American entertainers would be complete without mention of Casey Kasem — , the popular radio personality who grew up in Detroit. Kathy Najimy — is an award-winning comic actor who played a nun in the movie Sister Act. Arab Americans have developed vibrant art communities. In Minneapolis, Minnesota, for example, the "Electric Arab Orchestra" entertains the city with its exciting blend of Arabian music and rock and roll.
The festival was founded in by Arab Americans for the purpose of promoting Arab and Arab American cinema. A number of Arab Americans have played prominent roles in government at the federal level. The first Arab American to be elected to the U. Senate was James Abourezk — of South Dakota.
Abourezk earned a reputation as a fighter for Native American and other minority rights while in Congress. The most prominent Arab American woman in national government is Donna Shalala —. Beyond the official circles of government, consumer advocate Ralph Nader — ranks as one of the most prominent Arab Americans in the public eye. His activism has had a lasting impact on national policy. In the field of poetry, several Arab Americans have achieved recognition.
Called "Qalam" Quest for Arab-American Literature of Accomplishment and Merit , the contest will recognize achievements by Arab Americans in the areas of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. One of the most prominent Arab American scientists is Dr. All members should have valid emails to prove they are real. Enter password The password you've entered is incorrect Password is too short must be at least 6 characters.
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