Share on Messenger Close When I wrote last month about western stereotypes of Arab men, several commenters, including WeAreTheWorld , suggested that Arab stereotypes of western women would also be worth exploring. Just as Arab men are stereotyped and pigeonholed in the west, western women hover somewhere between myth and fantasy in the Arab world. Like the traditional orientalist image of the harem , Arab views of the contemporary western woman are also highly sexualised. In fact, many Arab men, particularly those with little contact with the west, have this fantasy of western women that comes straight out of Playboy magazine or the grainy images of pirate pornos. In this view, western women are oversexed, promiscuous and have revolving doors in their knickers. This can lead to hassle and harassment for western women travelling or living in Egypt and some other Arab countries, although in places like Yemen men will either just stare or the western woman will become invisible like the local women, as my wife found while travelling alone through the country. Of course, given the potent mix of sexual repression, poverty, ignorance, the growing disappearance of the traditional model of respect for women and the failure to replace it with a modern equivalent, you don’t have to be western to be harassed on the streets. Some men will hit on western women out of the conviction Ahmed described, while others who understand the west better will do so out of simple opportunism, hoping that they will “get lucky” with a woman from a society where sex does not carry the same heavy restriction for her as it does for her Arab sisters.
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Arab Americans live in all 50 states, but two thirds are concentrated in 10 states; one third of the total live in California, New York, and Michigan. Lebanese Americans constitute a greater part of the total number of Arab Americans residing in most states, although in Georgia, New Jersey, and Tennessee, Egyptian Americans are the largest Arab group.
While the largest Palestinian population is in California, the greatest concentration of Palestinians can be found in Illinois. There are almost as many Iraqis living in Michigan as there are living in California, even though California is over three times larger than Michigan. Custom Research on Arab Americans The Arab American Institute is available to provide custom research requests regarding inquiries to locate population concentrations and characteristics of Americans with Arab ancestry.
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With the rise of Islam in the seventh century A. Over time the Arab identity lost its purely ethnic roots as millions in the Middle East and North Africa adopted the Arabic language and integrated Arab culture with that of their own. It embraces numerous national and regional groups as well as many non-Muslim religious minorities. Arab Christians, particularly in the countries of Egypt and the Fertile Crescent Syria, Iraq, Palestine, and Jordan constitute roughly ten percent of the population.
In Lebanon, Christians of various sects approach just under half of the population, while in Egypt, Christians comprise between ten and 15 percent of the population. Previous estimates by scholars and Arab American community organizations placed the number of Arab Americans at between one and three million. The discrepancy is partly due to the standardization of Arabs in the United States, leading many to conceal their ethnic affiliation.
The traditional suspicion of Middle Easterners toward government authorities seeking information of a personal nature compounds this problem. These two factors, along with standard problems in collecting census data, probably explain the discrepancy between the estimates of scholars and the actual census count. Considering these factors, a revised estimate likely would place the number of Arab Americans in the range of one to two million.
The census indicates that most Arab Americans are U. Arab Americans are geographically concentrated in a handful of cities and states.
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Last week we were on vacation and, at the suggestion of a journalist friend, added a photo of us together in support of what was then a little-known initiative called Jews and Arabs Refuse to be Enemies. I also tweeted it to my modest following and added this caption: He calls me neshama, I call him habibi.
News stories and interviews followed.
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Next American women dating Arab man. I’m 20 years old and live in America. About a year and a half ago I met my boyfriend. He’s a Christian male from Iraq. When I met him he had only been in America for 5 months. At first it was just talking, then we had sex. Then began dating and having sex like rabbits.
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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.
In Arab culture, these situations are very controlled. When the women, especially, interact too personally with men in public, it hurts and damages family honor, which is highly favored and carefully maintained in Arab countries. Women and men are viewed with much respect, and when that respect is broken, it hurts not only the person but the whole family is looked down upon.
In Western Society, single men and women, whether attracted to each other or not, will interact pretty freely, of course with a personal bubble and a good amount of respect. It is similar in the Western culture, that when women do something that is considered or viewed as inappropriate or wrong, they lose honor and respect, more than if men did the same thing.
But, in either case, it is more dishonoring to that single person, and not so much to the family. Singles are more personally responsible for their actions, and not wholly for their entire immediate and extended family. But here, it shows the feelings of an honest Muslim and his personal feelings. Arab men and women avoid situations where they would or could be alone.
Even in Saudi Arabia, when a man and women are in a car alone together, they are pulled over and checked to see if they are married—or else they would be arrested.
The Arab myth of western women
From Broken to Fabulous: Jun 21, All images are published with permission courtesy of Faiza Rammuny By: However, by way of distraction and after experiencing a difficult breakup in September , Faiza increasingly spent her time focusing on creating new content for her blog. She found that the more she openly discussed topics like how to heal a broken heart and dating—subjects often considered taboo in the Arab American community—the more her audience grew.
But the ones that feature commentary on Arab culture, friendship, and dealing with parents show true comedic insight and timing. And as a follow up question, how does your family feel about your videos and online presence?
Rima Fakih (Arabic: ريما فقيه ) (born September 22, ) is a Lebanese-American actress, model, professional wrestler and beauty pageant titleholder who won Miss USA She represented the state of Michigan in the national pageant, having previously won the Miss Michigan USA pageant.
The American reference point for this part of the world is limited to what they see in movies and what is on the news. Sure there are some Americans who have been to this part of the world but they are few and far between. I really wish I would have kept a notebook with all of the comments I have received over the years. Most assume all Arabs are Muslim.
This is just one of the many assumptions people have based on their limited experiences with people of this background. These are a few of the other assumptions people have had about my husband not him as a person but him as an Arab man. I tried to pick the ones that I have heard the most often and were the most shocking to me. So You Have an Arab Husband..
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I saw many old friends and met many new ones. I performed in three comedy shows, and I can tell you this: Palestinians know how to laugh, especially at themselves. But I also confirmed something else I always suspected to be true… Being Palestinian is contagious. I met a few couples at the gathering who were, for lack of a better word, mixed. Palestinians are spread all over the world. Being Palestinian basically means you can live anywhere except Palestine.
What Nobody Tells You About Muslims and Arabs
Do you assume she is completely subservient to her husband? Or do you see her as a human being, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend? Do you see a woman, beautiful and unique, in part because of her heritage? Or do you fall into the trap our society has created and believe the stereotypes portrayed in the media? There have been several events in our society that have continued these stereotypes, but there are some that have challenged as well.
African-American Muslim communities in the Detroit area. Detroit is a fascinating study of vibrant American Muslim communities, both for Arab (and other immigrant).
One of the many issues that have been thrust to the fore is the status of American women married to Saudis and of the dual-national children of failed marriages. In a number of highly publicized instances, these children have been taken to or kept in Saudi Arabia by their Saudi fathers, against the will of their American mothers. Dan Burton R-Indiana , has played a prominent role in publicizing the issue.
The committee held hearings in June and October , taking testimony from mothers, experts, and U. Burton also led a delegation to Saudi Arabia in August to raise the matter directly with Saudi authorities. Recently he has exchanged barbed letters with Saudi ambassador Prince Bandar bin Sultan, accusing Saudi Arabia of “bad faith” in the dispute.
Most notably, William McGurn, chief editorial writer at The Wall Street Journal, has written a series of hard-hitting pieces accusing the Saudis of holding Americans captive. No document better conveys that clash than the eight-page brochure entitled “Marriage to Saudis,” which was published and distributed by the consular bureau of the Department of State, from the mid s. The document is an advisory to American women contemplating marriage to Saudi men, based on the long experience of U.
It is remarkable for its undiplomatic and anecdotal tone, so distant from the department’s standard bureaucratic style. For prospective spouses, “Marriage to Saudis” constituted an official tutorial in Saudi culture; for others, it served as a fascinating example of practical anthropology, school of hard knocks. The straightforward and talkative frankness of “Marriage to Saudis” also led to its retraction by the department.
The Saudis themselves were not perturbed by the document.