What is it Like to Grow Up as an Arab?
By: Shayma Amour/Arab America Contributing Writer
Growing up as an Arab is a unique experience. Whether being raised in the Arab world or in America, there are some characteristics that all Arabs share. It’s in our genes! Some things were so annoying and didn’t make sense to us as children, but looking at it from another perspective now, those acts are what make growing up in an Arab household a fun ride. Listed below are the most common situations most Arabs went through whether at home, school or in everyday life in the society.
1. While this sign means “Fine” or “Okay” internationally, it indicates that you are in big trouble in the Arab world. “Wallah la ‘al’an abouk bas nraweh”
2. Flip Flops are every Arab mom’s lethal weapon. Once the Shibshib is out, you better run for your life (if you got the chance to). It will reach you no matter where you hide.
3. Hanging out with friends is never a simple easy mission for Arabs. You have to go through the same interrogation before going out with the exact same group EVERY, SINGLE, TIME!
4. Yes means yes, Inshallah means “No”. Isn’t that clear enough?
5. “It’s pronounced DACTOOR Habibi, not ACTOR”
6. All Arab dads studied and did their homework by candlelight. But the question is: What did they all do during the daytime?
7. Arab mothers’ OCD (obsessive, compulsive disorder) is REAL!
8. This is how the weekly family gathering looks like…
9…And this is how it usually ends, especially in summer when schools are out.
10. This is usually accompanied by a long gossip session “Shufti Emm-Youssef shu sawwat …”
11. “It’s AHMAD, not AKHMAD …”
12. See! Arabic is easy after all. It all depends on your tone.
13. You will relate to this if you studied in the Middle East. If the teacher leaves for a few minutes only, the class turns into a musical play and a live concert.
14. We do love to turn any song into an Arabic version! Add some “Darbouka” beats to any western song and voila!
15. “Yes, and my Genie is chilling inside his lamp preparing my 3 wishes”
16. Are you a non-Arab or an Arab but don’t know how to dance on Arab music? Don’t worry! It’s easy, here are the basic moves you need to be explained by Amer Zahr :
17. Traditionally, the bride was asked not to dance at her wedding and to sit still. Well, that has changed a lot nowadays! Here are the different ways Arab brides dance in their weddings as demonstrated by Faiza Rammuny.
UPDATE: this includes every Arab woman in the wedding/party.
18. Here are some moments that only Arab Americans understand, as they all go through the same situations.