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Sponsored Post: Arab American Empowerment: They Are More Than Just "MENA"

posted on: Aug 7, 2022

In the US, Arab Americans have been labeled as “MENA,” and now it’s time for a change. With millions of Arab Americans in the US, there is no doubt that they are an integral part of the country. 

Arab Americans are part of several industries, including sports betting (during NFL season), where NFL lines are interpreted to place the best bets. They also dominate the professional, technical, sales, managerial, and administrative fields. 

With such dominance, they need empowerment and not be termed as just a “MENA.” 

Arabs Should be Listed as “Arabs”

Recently, President Joe Biden’s administration started a review by the US Office of Management and Budget to revise the process of identifying race/ethnicity in the US. The entire process will be completed in two years.

With this review, the US will make changes to America’s decennial census. In this count, the citizens are listed as Americans with their race/ethnicity. According to the list, funds are distributed to minority groups, including African Americans, Asians, Hispanics, and others. 

Unfortunately, Arab Americans aren’t added to the list. Most citizens believe that Arab Americans were left out because they aren’t as recognized as other races. They are listed in the “White” group, so they cannot access the funds as authorized for other minority groups. 

As the census data is useful for creating congressional districts around minorities, the minorities get an advantage if they seek elections. But, as Arab Americans aren’t listed in the census data count, they lose this advantage as well. 

Looking at the present growth of Arab Americans, the community is considered to be listed in the census as a racial category. Although the number of Arab Americans is unclear, the estimate says it’s around 1.4 to 4.5 million (can be more). 

Time for change

Several communities are trying to list Arab Americans as MENA (the Middle East or North Africa), but the term still lacks the recognition they deserve. While Arab is more specific, MENA is a blurred version of their ethnicity/race. So, most Arab Americans prefer the term Arabs over MENA, as that sounds more empowering. 

As “Arabs” (and not MENA), they would also be able to represent themselves in Congress for areas with an Arab population. Currently, such areas are divided into congressional districts, so their votes aren’t dominating enough. 

Besides that, the discrimination against Arab Americans has to stop. While the common people are facing biasness for their Arab roots, celebrities are no exception. Recently, iconic football player Mohamed Salah faced racism and Islamophobia in football

All in all, Arabs should be treated like other minority groups listed on the census. With such opportunities, they would be a robust community in the country.

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