The Value of Arab American Friendships
By: Ivey Noojin/Arab America Contributing Writer
Many people associate Arab Americans with hospitality and friendship due to their roots in Middle Eastern and Northern Africa cultures. There are few things better than a true friend, and Arab American friendships epitomize its importance in daily life.
Importance of Friendships
Why is friendship so important and something that needs to be valued? According to one video, the key is that friends remain friends through thick and thin. They support us through difficult times and also through the joys in life and share their own life experiences. Friends are that sympathetic ear that will listen to whatever worries us and provide us with advice. They protect us from others and ourselves. True friends refuse to let obstacles stop our goals and, through their support, they help us overcome these roadblocks on our journey to success.
Friends are the ones who encourage us to have fun and be silly. They make us feel safe, whether that is in a physical space or within our own selves. They bless us with their presence and their love. Friends always smile when they see us.
Arab American friendships are also valuable because of the differences that exist between multiple people. “Arab” includes people from countries in the Middle East and Northern Africa, along with their descendants. This means the Arab Americans bring distinct backgrounds to the loved ones in their life. They also do not let their differences stand in between a valuable relationship with someone. Instead, they embrace the ways in which they are not similar and view it as a way to learn.
In this sense, Arabs love learning, especially about other cultures. They truly value someone else’s traditions. Arab Americans also bring their culture with them to their friendships. Many know how to make good food from the region of their ancestors or how to boil traditional coffee that they can serve to loved ones. They also love to talk about anything over these meals or drinks. Arab Americans can discuss faith and politics, which many people from the United States view as a restricted topic. Instead, these friendships refuse to build any boundaries, whether that is culturally, physically, or conversationally.
Quotes About Arab American Friendships
Arab Americans treat their friends like family. Their cultures value family like nothing else, and people who are not blood-related come in a close second within this importance hierarchy. Arab Americans know the integrality of being close to the people they love. This appreciation is evident in the plethora of Arabic quotes about friendship.
Some discuss the support that having a friend implies:
- “A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out”
- “Friends show their love in times of trouble, not happiness”
- “Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light”
Others talk about love and the importance of friendship in making you the person you are:
- “A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself”
- “A friend is one who knows you and loves you just the same”
- “My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me”
According to these famous quotes, Arab friendship is a gift that should be prized and protected.
The Qur’an also reemphasizes the importance of friendship. There are multiple proverbs that pertain to this loving relationship between people who are not family, including:
- “You can live without a brother but not without a friend”
- “A friend is the one that lends a hand during time of need”
- “My friends are like stars. Pick one, and it will guide you”
Overall, it is evident that the Arab and Arab American cultures value friendship. They value the people who are in their lives and treat them almost like family, who they price over everything else. All that matters, states one quote, is the love and support that friendships provide: “Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend”.
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