An Arab Request: Please Stop Reinforcing These Stereotypes
Arabs speak Arabic, right? Or is it Arabic speaks Arab? Or maybe Arabians speak Arabia?
SOURCE: STEP FEED
BY: REEM ALMOWAFAK
Imagine this: You’ve finally saved up the right sum of money to travel abroad in an attempt to escape the florescent light illuminating your office cubicle. Then, it hits you. A different form of stress is born via a bubble of stereotypical phrases from some locals who don’t seem to grasp the concept of being Arab.
Maybe it’s the stereotypical narrative pushed through Western movies, shows, and advertisements. We’re often portrayed as a homogeneous camel-friendly group. Phrases like “you don’t look Arab” often come up in conversation because the narrative has led people to believe all Arabs look the same.
It’s 2019, and it’s time the stereotypes vanish. Here are five that really need to disappear … like, now.
1. Arabs can’t speak other languages
Yes, some of us are bilingual, others are, you guessed it, trilingual. But, it seems some foreigners still think the entire Arab population can only speak their mother tongue. The *jaw-drop* that comes after hearing us speak anything other than Arabic is pretty insulting.
2. All Arabs are Muslim
3. Arabs live in tents in the desert
4. All women are oppressed
Some people in the West believe Arab women need “saving” from the oppression of the society we live in.
To them, we’re all forced into arranged marriages, are beaten by our horrible husbands, and, most importantly, are forced to wear the hijab. In reality, the Arab world is pretty diverse. While some people undoubtedly suffer from these issues, not all Arab women are in these situations.
While the fight against inequality is still ongoing, the Arab world has seen tremendous progress in recent years when it comes to women’s rights.
5. Arabs speak the same dialect
Arabs speak Arabic, right? (Or is it Arabic speaks Arab? Or maybe Arabians speak Arabia? … and the confusion never comes to an end.)
Different countries in the Arab world speak different variations of the language (that differ from the Modern Standard Arabic). Also, dialects within certain countries vary from one city to another.