What I Mean When I Say I Live In The Middle East

It’s time to correct the misconception about the Middle East. What I mean when I say I live in the Middle East, is that I meet all kinds of people. People who don’t look the same, don’t speak the same, don’t dress the same, or have the same beliefs. The Middle East is filled with mosques, churches, universities, clubs, malls, art, and history. No, it’s not all desert and yes we have internet. Let’s break down some of the most famous misconceptions about the Middle East.

Camels are the only method of transportation

Often when Middle Eastern countries are portrayed in Western movies, all you see are depictions of the desert. Rarely do they show the cities and modernization. It’s always the desert, someone wearing a ‘galabya’ or camels roaming the streets. When in reality, the Middle East has Burj Khalifa and Abraj Al-Bait Towers. If we’re being logical, the Middle East has the architectural miracle that is the Pyramids of Giza. Please.

Winter doesn’t come

It’s true that Middle Eastern countries are by the equator, but that doesn’t mean the Middle East has bent the laws of nature and it’s always summer. It does get cold here. Yes, sometimes you can cook an egg on a car’s hood, but mostly it’s just sunny.

Everyone is a Muslim

For starters, the three Abrahamic religions started in the Middle East, not just Islam. Aside from the fact that there are so many foreigners living in the Middle East, from Saudi Arabia to Dubai, Christians and Jews are all over the place. Not everyone is Muslim and people have experienced dealing with people with different religions and backgrounds!

Nightlife is nonexistent

With the misconception that the Middle East is a vast land of sand filled with strict Muslims, there can’t be parties, can there? YES! People can go clubbing and have wild nights out at casinos, bars, and discos. I mean, come on, weren’t the Black Eyed Peas just in Egypt last October?

All women cover their heads

WRONG. Middle Eastern women are free to do what they want. They can wear a niqab, hijab, or bikini. It’s all-inclusive with a variety of backgrounds. It’s such a rookie mistake to forget about Karen Wazen, Huda Kattan, or Amal Clooney. Those ladies of Middle Eastern origins are literally under the Western spotlight!

Everyone has dark hair

The belief that all Middle Easterns have dark skin, dark hair, and dark eyes is just far away from the truth. Just in the last couple of centuries, the Middle East was heavily integrated with the Turkish, British and French. It’s a misconception that everyone is of pure African descent. The Middle East has all colors, shapes, sizes and is more diverse that you might think!

Honorary mentions of times movies did the Middle East no justice

You just can’t go and demolish the Pyramids of Giza. That’s just not the way it is, Transformers.

Hey, X-men, those days are over. There are no more pharaohs.

WE SAID THIS: Don’t miss… Dismantling Misconceptions About Arab Women: A Film By Farida Khelfa.

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