We Arabs are complicated

I really don’t want to use “I” a lot, but hello, I’m human. I love life. I love peace. I love my faith. I love everything about my culture… Oops, I lied.

Arab culture. Let’s see. We are generous, we make good food, we have nice upbeat music, our movies are cheesy, and our love lives are messed up. Romance to us is buying an expensive purse for the wife, and cooking a good meal for the husband.

Arab culture part 2. We live in a war zone, we think culture means women must stay in their homes to clean, men work to provide, children go to school to provide later, and if we have extra cash why not invest in a maid as well.

Arab culture part 3. Men can date and have sex before marriage, but God forbid a woman even texts a guy. She would now be considered a world famous whore with an ugly past haunting her.

Arab culture part 4. You are only allowed to raise children as doctors or engineers. It’s a disgrace to raise an artist, an interior designer, a politician, or an actor. “You want to be what? An actor? My firstborn be an Actor? Oh how joyful… NOT!”

Arab culture part 5. They think being an Arab means being Muslim, so they take everything about the culture and in such a magical fantastic way, they incorporate it into religion. “Oh yeah my wife doesn’t drive, it’s haram in Islam.” Mind me to remind you that back in the day, Muslim women used to ride horses, so what’s so wrong about a woman driving a car? That’s culture not religion, my friends.

Arab culture part 6. “Oh, did you hear this? This guy is gay. Let’s expose him and make his life hell.” They could be gay, they could be interested in animals even, WHY BOTHER? “Oh you have to see how this girl is totally sleeping with this guy.” Why assume? “Oh, I’m going to start a webpage to expose these people.” Why take on a role that you shouldn’t take? Each to his own. Are we a culture that really LOVES scandals?

Arab culture part 7. We are generous people. Don’t come to eat lunch at my grandmother’s house if you’re not hungry, because she’ll stuff you with food. Visit our homes, and you’ll get a 10 course treatment, starting with coffee, a bunch of food, ending it with tea, and “Goodbye, visit us again.”

Arab culture part 8. We are protective people. If we see someone attacking someone else in public, we’ll rush to help. We’ll be there to support. We have this thing in our genes to always being the first to jump to offer a lending hand. If we see a man bothering a woman in the street, flirting in a rude way, we’ll make sure this man gets his fix for what he’s doing.

Arab culture part 9. We are loving. Despite all these social norms forced upon us, we are still loving. Everything our parents do whether we agree or disagree with it, is done with love. We love to enjoy a good meal, a good hookah, a nice vacation, and a nice sleep. We just love to do things, anything, and everything. We love to argue, we love to pretend like we know it all, and we love to pretend like we’re Europeans when Champions League is on. I mean rich Arabs love to own soccer teams in Europe too. Loving people, I told you.

Arab culture part 10. We’re proud of being Arab. We get shamed, we get discriminated against, we get hate, we get comments, we get criticized, and we get bothered at airports, but guess what, we’re still proud. We have our problems like any culture does. We have issues that are being fixed like any culture does. Only difference is that other cultures have become so superior, that they block us from evolving. They locked us in a certain era, and as much as we try to evolve, we find ourselves going back. Media isn’t in our stand, politics isn’t in our stand, but we should be in our own stand. I’m an Arab, and proud of being an Arab. I’m an Arab, and I recognize the problems of my culture today. I’m an Arab, and I am trying to fix what’s wrong with my culture. I’m an Arab and I am asking my fellow Arabs to respect each other, stop shaming each other, and work together for our own sake. I’m an Arab and I love people from all backgrounds, so try to love us back. I mean, as I said earlier, we’re generous people, so love me. I’ll get my grandmother to make you a good meal.

About Omar Kurdi 1 Article
Omar Kurdi is a graduate student at Cleveland State University earning a Master's Degree in Mass Communications studying Islamophobia in Social Media. He holds a Bachelors degree in International Relations and Middle Eastern Studies from Cleveland State University.

1 Comment

  1. What everyone thinks but no one speaks, on point! Arab culture part 11. Referring to my comment, we are people who say but do not act. I hope and pray it will change. God Bless!

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