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10 Ways to Empower Young Arab American Women

posted on: Mar 15, 2017

BY: Dr. Amal David/Arab America

Each one of us knows young Arab American women that are eager to work hard and trail new paths in entrepreneurship, medicine, media, education, law, etc.

So, what advice would you give them? These young ladies may be your daughters, granddaughters, nieces, friends, students, or others.

Here are 10 ways you can empower Arab American women, but always remember that it starts with you! Be their role model and encourage them to fly.

1. Start early in life with great passion. If you want to be in business, start working part time at a local business in high school. Don’t let anyone convince you that you need to rush to settle down with a partner. It’s 2017 and your career goals are more attainable than ever before.

2. Attend conferences, especially Arab American ones on women. You’ll be amazed with the dynamic, beautiful, and capable women who are willing to guide you along the way. See if there’s a conference near you on Arab America’s events page.

3. Get involved and engaged, not only in Arab American organizations, but mainstream ones, too. Consider running for office at local levels like the school board, city council, or party delegate. Now more than ever, Arab American women are needed to make an impact on policy in the U.S.

4. Plan small social gatherings. This is a common strength in our culture and can be used to empower other women along the way. Invite about 10 other young Arab American women to join you at your home to discuss successes, goals, and challenges. By listening and helping each other, we can build a stronger generation of Arab American women and create safe spaces for flourishing ideas.

5. Become a mentor. Research has proven that you learn by doing. Mentoring has to be regular and consistent, and you must command empathy and good listening skills. Have those you mentor shadow you at work, meetings, and events to inspire the next generation of leaders.

6. Preserve our Arab heritage, especially during April, National Arab American Heritage Month. By engaging in cultural activities, you can empower the next generation to continue these practices and gain admiration for our heritage.

  • Know who you are and where you came from
  • Talk about the beauty of our heritage at events and with friends
  • Write about the best attributes of your Arab grandmother on social media
  • Take a picture of a cultural item and share it with Arab America (@arab_america)
  • Attend a cultural event near you, or plan an event if there are none.
  • Share a 50 second video of the Arab American woman you admire most and why, or write an article on the topic and send to Arab America for publishing
  • Indulge yourself in Arab cuisine, dance to Arab music, and try on your mother’s tatreez dress.
  • Learn a new Arabic word every day, and save your money to travel in the Arab World

7. Express yourself through art, music, dance, and poetry. By inspiring artistic expression, we unlock a new level of consciousness that is invaluable in society. Never be afraid to use your voice and encourage other women to do so, too.

8. Show thirst for learning and keep the immigrant spirit of hard work alive. Never forget that we’ve only come this far because of the dedication of women and migrants before us. These thoughts keep us humble as we trudge forward.

9. Build your self-esteem and networks of women. Studies show that women who work have higher levels of confidence. Use your skills to network with other women who can take you places, while also reminding each other that you’re valued.

10. Think and talk positively about your background and about yourself. You can’t radiate pride unless you believe it and practice it.