Daily Life of Arab Americans in the 21st Century

Daily Life of Arab Americans in the 21st Century

Daily Life of Arab Americans in the 21st Century

Daily Life of Arab Americans in the 21st Century

Synopsis

This much-needed study documents positive Arab-American contributions to American life and culture, especially in the last decade, debunking myths and common negative perceptions that were exacerbated by the 9/11 attacks and the War on Terror.

Excerpt

Today, Arab American life and culture is very much shaped by the political landscape in the United States and the Arab world. The terrorist attacks of 9/11 had a significant impact on Arab Americans—some perished in the attacks, many stepped forward as heroes in the aftermath, and many have suffered from undue suspicion, prejudice, collective blame, or fear of reprisals as America processed the tragedy. Following 9/11, many more immigrants from Arabic-speaking countries and their descendants began to assert their ethnic identity as Arab American. Why? As the Arab Canadian writer Joanne Kadi puts it, this “allows us to reclaim the word Arab, to force people to hear and say a word that has become synonymous with ‘crazy Muslim terrorists.’ It affirms our identity and links us to our brothers and sisters in Arab countries.” This book explores the many dimensions of Arab American life today, beginning with the immigrant experience. Subsequent chapters cover in depth the political, family, religious, educational, professional, public, and artistic aspects of the Arab American experience, taking particular care to explore how that experience is impacted by political events both here in America and in the Arab world.

Since the 1970s, hyphenated terms have often been used to name subgroups of the American mosaic. Around that same time, the hybrid “Arab-American” identity began to take form in response . . .

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