Arab Americans: Rooting for Their Culture in a Home Away From Home

Arab Americans are permanent citizens residing in varied states of the USA, tracing their ancestry back from Arab lands. They mainly belong to Palestine, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, and Yemen. Most Arab Americans are descendants of people from older generations of Arabs born in the US, and they are US citizens.

Participation in American Society

Unlike every US Citizen, they have the power to cast a vote, access to education, participate in socio-cultural affairs of the country, and contribute towards the American economy. They also love to engage in sports, especially football, like other Americans.

Well, no one can cheer for their teams as Arab American youngsters do. The best thing about them is their closeness to their families and believe in strong relationships.

A few youngsters and middle-aged people are seen participating in online gaming and gambling as they play roulette games, slot games, and other casino games. However, these families’ traditions and culture are still rooted in them too.

Celebration of Heritage Month

Apart from participating in American society and communities, they still remember their roots by celebrating ‘The Heritage Month.’ April is celebrated as the National Arab American Heritage Month, as designated by Montgomery County, Maryland.

In August 2017, PBS also premiered the first documentary on Arab Americans. In this documentary, actor Ralph Nader, Congressman Nick Rahall, Helen Thomas, the White House reporter, and many more prominent Arab-Americans made an appearance. Most of these people are concentrated in Michigan, California, Maryland, New York, Texas, Los Angeles, etc. This month is celebrated mainly to feel elated due to the contributions they’ve made in society. Be it becoming a part of schools, hospitals, military, business firms, IT companies, and much more.

Hospitality and Religion

Many Arab Americans are Christians, specifically Catholics, but the year 1965 saw the immigration of Muslim Arabs too. A survey showed that 63% are Christians, 24% Muslims, and 13% fell under other. They have protected their religious identities by keeping Biblical and Quranic verses engraved on wood or pottery plates.

In regards to their hospitality, they often indulge in their family affairs. Food, catering to family friends, and socializing is what they love the most. You can always find a few Middle Eastern dishes prepared for the guests, like cabbage rolls, stews, stuffed vegetables, and many other dishes. They prefer great family values over other things, and still look after their kids until they’re ready to get married, especially women. Along with rich hospitality, you can also find richly flavored foods and seasoned dishes on their tables such as lamb, pita bread, lentils, olives, chickpeas, olive and sesame oil, dates, feta cheese, and figs.

Marriage

Specific rules and regulations still surround Arab American females. Not all are comfortable with their daughters dating or to engage in pre-marital sex, as they believe it could bring shame to the family. Many daughters live with their families until marriage. Young males of the family also face similar rules and regulations in regards to dating and to maintain the female’s virtue, and to not bring shame to the woman’s family. Marriage is a spiritual symbol in their community. Families give the male and female the right to talk privately when they get to know their future spouses, and at this point, if either of them are not happy, they can call off the engagement.

WE SAID THIS: How else do you think Arab Americans play a pivotal role in American society?

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