Posted by: yemenia68 | February 11, 2009

Cultural Pride


I’ve always wondered why most Arabs tend to “adjust” (for the lack of a better word) their attitudes, physical appearance, beliefs, and opinions to satisfy or accommodate western society. Is it because they don’t believe that their heritage or culture is worthy of their pride. Or is it the sad reality that they never even valued their culture in the first place. I’ve seen this behavior most of my life. Whenever non-Arabs inquire about specific customs or traditions, it’s always easier for Arabs to either deny it or express that they no longer practice these customs, when in reality they do exist. Maybe it is a desperate need to be accepted in the American society that drives people to deny their cutural backgrounds.

What is so ironic is that the Arabs who are born and raised here, hold more pride towards their culture than that of the Arabs who are raised in Arabic countries. My friends and I have noticed that females coming from Arab countries live more liberally than the females that are born here. I believe that they come to this country with a hunger for freedom which leads them to believe that anything and everything is permissible, throwing everything ethical out the window in the process. 

One of the most disturbing issues in my personal opinion, is that of premarital relationships, which is unthinkable in Arab countries, but obviously is considered “the thing to do” here in the US. Some Arabs here tend to lead double lives; they get caught up in a fantasy world that provides them the opportunity to practice their hidden desires. The result of these relationships are children with fathers or mothers who are denied of their parents existence in their lives because of the fact that the parent is too ashamed to confess that they are the parent. Once they get back to their country or are visiting, they go back to upholding the highly moral position in society. I’m not even going to go any further with this because it is too upsetting for me.



  1. You want a solution for your last paragraph ?
    well honestly i heard the lines about the “hunger for freedom” or about how” Arab american are so pious compared to the fobs”
    those two misconceptions are only in the heads of those who don’t peak outside of their you know what… but then again … whatever .
    Reality is different depending on where your family comes from and where in the states they are. and honestly the arab/muslim Americans are the last group of people to talk about ethics in the states … maybe that’s one reason why fobs don’t associate with them all that much.

  2. Bambam

    Thanks for your solution but I personally think that practicing chastity would be a better choice because I dont believe in pre-marital relationships.
    Since you are so open about “using a condom”, let me ask you a personal question and if you dont feel like answering it, thats fine.
    Is that the solution you would offer to your daughter?
    I do agree with you about the family issue. It does have to do with your upbringing and the morals and standards you believe in.
    What on earth do you mean by “fobs”?

  3. hehe … actually i don’t adopt the usual double standard. so yes, with the proper guidance i would let her make her own decisions in life, and that’s one of the options open to her. personally i don’t see anything immoral in sex …
    fob = fresh of the boat, new coming immigrants vs. established ones .. where in the states are u ! ?

  4. Wallah? and what exactly would be your version of proper guidance? “honey, you can have sex before marriage, as long as the dude honors you as a respectful young lady”
    Give me a break!!!! who the heck are you kidding?
    I never said sex was immoral, but we, as Muslims, do have to follow the “proper understanding” of how and when to practice it.
    Here in the Detroit, we call new immigrants “boaters”
    Ya 3ammi, almost every religion is against premarital sex, the problem with people nowadays is they think they have the right to follow what suits them when it comes to religion.
    Anyways, I dont expect you to respond after having been put on the spot, unless you are a strong believer of what you preach. : O

  5. Hehe your a D-town girl … wayne by any chance ?
    No not really, its the fact that she is the master of her own body and she has the right to make her own choices in life regarding what she wants to follow, religion is not the only moral code to follow.
    its not about following religion. arab minority, exception for motor city, tend to have this nostalgic delusion about what it is like back home.
    to drive the point across, its like some taking a vacation to a country and he is exposed to a single facet that is pretty and likable, the only way to really form and informed opinion about the country is to live there and once they live there they usually form a totally different opinion.
    Not having to deal with the culture on daily bases and living inside of a bubble or a faux recreation abroad doesn’t cut it. at the end of the day you can still get out of derbon and realize you are still in the states …

    • Bambam my dear,

      I wouldn’t exactly say “girl”(although I do like the idea of giving the impression that I’m younger than my age), because I am a grandmother.
      You are right though, we do have our own “arab” town over here in southeast Michigan. Although, growing up here, I was no different from any other girl. My perspective on religion and life in general actually changed after I went to the middle east and lived there for 11 long and dreadful years. I dont mean to sound so negative, but honestly, they need to change their menatlity.

  6. I guess the reason is because the Muslims that have experienced the Arab culture understand it and feel that is not as good as it is claimed to be, unlike the muslims who haven’t experienced it and keep promising themselves that the arab cultures are a lot better.

    I think it is stupid (i am not against it but i personally find it stupid) to practice a different culture in a country that already has its own culture that everybody understands and is living by, by doing so you are really missing the point of cultures.

    P.S. the last photo made me long for summer vacation 😛

  7. Nizar:

    One thing I can agree with you on is the Arab mentality and traditions. I’ve always opposed most of the old traditions that they still follow these days.
    I dont think that it is stupid to have pride in your culture. Just because you live in a certain country doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to follow their way of life. That is why there is “democracy” in most countries, to provide everyone with the freedom to practice religion, culture and beliefs “freely”, without having to abide by any specific religious or cultural practice.

  8. Thankfully some bloggers can still write. Thank you for this article..

  9. That was informational blog!!

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