10 Ways Arab Americans Haven't Changed
By: Yaseen Rashed/Arab America Contributing Writer
Although Arab Americans have been in this country for generations, they still hang on to the core values and unique characteristics of their culture. Here are some ways how Arab Americans haven’t changed:
1. Skills in Cooking
Arab Americans have always traditionally always been gifted in cooking. So much of Arab culture is centered around preparing or sharing a meal. From the way we shop at Arabic stores to the time it takes to fully prepare a meal, there are so many traditions around food and that never changed. Even if work got busy and stressful there seems to always be room for a good family meal.
2. Love of Celebrating
Arabs will always find a reason to celebrate. Whether that being during religious holidays like eid and (quite literally) the whole month of Ramadan. Celebrating seems to run in our blood as we take it very seriously. From graduations to baby showers, Arab Americans haven’t been shy about looking for a reason to celebrate. And with every celebration, the community forgets their differences and rallies together for one common purpose, to have fun.
3. Love for Family
Love for family is one of the pillars of Arab culture. Family is everything and that has never changed through the years. Most Arabs came here to the United States to create a better life for their families and also be able to send money back home to their parents. From the tribal nature of our social circles to the everyday decisions we make in protecting our families one thing is apparent; family always comes first.
4. Passion for Education
Arabs have always been passionate about education. From the creation of algebra to the incredible discoveries the Arabs have made, we’ve always taken education seriously. There’s an Arabic saying that goes “ask for knowledge even if it was as far away as China.” Many immigrated here for school and to give their families an opportunity in higher learning. It is why Arabs are among the highest percentage of people who go on to seek higher and graduate degrees
5. Hard Work
Undoubtedly, Arabs didn’t get to where they are today had it not been for all the hard work they’ve accomplished before. Arabs work hard in anything and everything they do from cooking and cleaning to office work and education. There seems to always be striving to achieve something greater than the status quo we were given. Through hard work and dedication, however, was a way out of poverty and other conditions.
Arabs are some of the most selfless people you’ll ever meet. From their generosity to their almost blind love for family, Arabs have always been unselfish and raise their kids accordingly, too. The more selfless one is the more respect they gain from others. Selflessness comes in a lot of forms from giving something precious or spending a whole day in the kitchen because you’re expecting guests.
7. Love for the Homeland
Arabs are extremely patriotic to their home country. From the intense soccer matches to the food and culture, it almost seems that parents explain their homeland as some form of utopia to their kids. There’s also been immense pain on these lands and Arabs connection with it seems to almost be a connection with something greater. From the struggle for independence to the recent civil wars, the passion for the homeland remains
8. Love for Arabic
Almost every Arab American who grew up in the states has in some shape way or form attended an Arabic school. Arabs take education seriously and especially learning Arabic for their kids. Arabic is seen as a key to Arab culture and without the key, their kids will have that barrier. Arabs’ love for their language is expressed in the music we listen to, the poems we read, and the classic TV shows we watch.
Loyalty is seen as one of the most respectable traits a man can have. The phrase “a man of his word” is taken extremely seriously by Arab Americans. When someone promises something they must be loyal and fulfill that promise. Loyalty is also seen in family and friendships where the people you love come before anything else in life. This trait is almost “inherited” down from generation to generation as it remains a staple of Arab values.
10. Sacrifice for Family and Friends
Like I mentioned before, Arabs would do anything to help a family or friend in crisis. Arabs will sacrifice so much for their families or friends all in trying to help or attempting to do what’s best for the other. To this day Arab Americans continue to hold on to this ideal as a means of proving their love for one another as well as proving they trust each other.
Intro: Although Arab Americans have been in this country for generations, they still hang on the core values and unique characteristics of their culture
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