a Brief Summary of Arab American & Muslim Culture

Tag: American

No one can survive Bombs and Tunas alone… My Journey to Libya in 2012

I’ve been to the Arab Country situated in North Africa 3 times now & this time , it was different. 1st of all , it was 1 year after the infamous ‘ Arab Spring’ that happened on Feb 17th where they overthrew the tyrannical leader known as Moammar Ghaddafi. My Father decided that winter was too bad for me to stay in America and also some personal issues I won’t be discussing on this page. It was great for a few weeks until wars started happening and things began to take a turn for the worse. I went to a lot of Weddings and Engagement visits. Like I said , Libyans are more conservative they don’t have Engagement parties like other more open Arab countries do they just write the  contract and set a wedding date.  All I could eat for Lunch/Dinner was chicken , eggs and tuna sandwiches because the economy was so bad after the Arab Spring that we couldn’t afford a lot of food. I only went to the supermarket one time thanks to my cousin’s awesome husband and got all I needed. Women generally in the South of Libya such as Sebha/Al Gourda where my Father’s from , typically don’t go out of the house.  In places like Tripoli , Misrata or Benghazi ( Before Turmoil in 2 of the Cities) more women there go out and have cars to drive more than people in the South. Now  the south typically are very traditional minded it when it comes to culture and Islam. It even goes overboard with the Wedding traditions. Usually the Bride has her Hennah and Wedding at her House , but my 2nd Cousin whom I still kinda keep in touch with today , had her Wedding at a hall which was awesome. It just depends on the family and how traditional they want it to be. We had to reschedule the wedding so many times because of the Tribal infighting in town. I can tell you I was pretty scared of the bombs going off  . My Uncle’s Brother In Law describes it like a action movie he’s just seen on TV. 

There’s also some Socio/Political problems still in the country . Many People have sided with the Rebels ( Thowar as they’re called) the one’s who overthrew the Gaddafi leader and some are Tahalab ( Pro Ghadaffi People). Unfortunately, it can tear a lot of friendships and close familial relationships apart I’ve seen it happen with my own eyes.  Women in the north have a little bit more freedom than the women in the south, Women in the north do go to school , drive and even have a semi free social life . Whereas the south , a man has to take you wherever you need to go , he also gets stuff you need or ask one of the kids to go get stuff for you especially the really embarrassing stuff.  Weddings and Lunches like I said are a special occasion . The food is big and people like to drink a lot of tea & getting into the latest gossip which we know Islamically is  not the wisest thing to do. The Social life in Libya is pretty basic your family is all you need , your friends can be part of your family and many more.  When girls reach puberty they have to wear the Hijab which is customary , but the hardest part is once they’re in the late teens to late 20’s- early 30’s Libyan women are always talking about Marriage. The generations collide on this one  since now more people are willing to go to University & establish a career than starting a relationship or family. Once she does graduate , then the pressure is on and if she’s not married by 30 somethings wrong with her. When I was asked these personal questions it made me feel awkward , but as an American person I stood my ground and told them that I don’t need a man in my life and marriage is not a guarantee for me only Allah knows what’s written for me. They pity the girl if she’s Divorced like it’s a disease some couple’s are not meant to stay together for whatever reason just move on. Especially if that happens the two families have awkwardness between them and their relationships are severed. I was being called Amerekeeya because I loved freedom and independence they weren’t used to that.  The society should appreciate women who wanna live their lives as is and not pressure to conform them into a marital institution or a career that would guarantee status. I’d have to say I liked Tripoli better than my Father’s hometown it was pretty opened and things were so much fun back then. Would I wanna go back? probably not , I am happy in a country I was born and raised in. My Grandmother , who was born in a village 1hr away from where my father grew up certainly agrees with me. I’ve visited there  it’s like a  desert a bunch of houses , one store and one school. I would like to go to other Arab countries InshAllah when things get safer and better for travel until then, I’m gonna stay put in USA and focus on my life here.

Never mess with an Arab… EVER

It was 1989 , the year our Palestinian neighbors moved across the street from us.  A Young Couple and two mixed couples with 4 little girls ranging from 5-8 years old. I can still remember comments being made everytime we would try to fall asleep ” Count sheep that’s what we did” they would say. At one point we tried to fall asleep so that we can spend the night at one of the houses. Like I posted before Christmas came around and there was a sigh of ” Should we tell the Girls or Not”?. There’s also many jokes being made , but when u make a Arab mad oh boy it’s either shoes or endless lectures being told about how they went all the way Home from school walking. Dealing with Children is bad enough. Now we’re all grown and 3 of  the 7 of us whom are Adults are still Single and we never hear the end of why can’t we find an 3arees ( Groom). We just finished our 1st Wedding of the Year , it was quite fun but as per usual Arabs are never on time or Organized in anyway they just go with the flow. Spring Semester starts Tuesday so I’ll be stuck on that. If u ask an Arab for a Missari ( Money)  they say In Sha Allah ( Godwilling) for the synonym word for NO.  Then there are Picnics who’s gonna do the Meshwee ( Bar B Que) during the summer time. Too Many things at once. Just don’t talk about Celebrities or Politics that’ll get u in unless ur into Football. Until next time Peace!

Muslims being ‘ Happy’ is the new Haram Police Ticket

A few days ago , there was a Video posted by British Muslims dancing to the tune of ‘ Happy’ By Pharell Williams . It caused a HUGE Controversy. I know that indeed Music is HARAAM ( Impermissable) , but I will tell u that I LOVED the Video it made me happy to see other Muslims Happy. Its great that you all wanna advise and save the Muslim Ummah , but to be fair , just because Muslims have the same Religion , it doesn’t mean that everyone is gonna follow the same lifestyle or path. Ok , some of us do Watch TV & Listen to Music , but u know what ? at the end of the day , Allah is gonna Judge us weather we go to Jannah ( Paradise) or Jahannam (Hell) I would suggest People to politely Mind Their Own Business and focus on what they’re doing. I am a Spiritual Muslim , but it doesn’t mean I am Perfect. If u were Excited about my Posts being ” Sheikah” I am sorry to disappoint you all. If you have any other expectations or digressions , please do yourselves a favor and Unfollow me. My Posts are about Cultural , Ethnic & Relatable to people whom are Not Arab or Muslim. Anyways , this is all I am gonna write for now . Those of u who are still Interested leave ur Suggestions on the next topic in the comment section below. Bye for now 🙂

Common Comments Us Mixed or ” Halfies” Arabs get…….

Sorry I haven’t been writing as of lately , but life kinda caught up with me. As some of u Might already know I am a Mixed of 2 Cultures One Arab and the Other so Called White American. The Community I Grew up in Central Buckeye State was Comprised of Mostly Half Arab Kids up until the late 1990’s when people from New York , Kentucky , Dearborn , Virginia, Cleveland & and as Far Away as Chicago came and settled here. Everywhere we would go we would have these kinds of sometimes Innappropriate Comments being thrown at us…

1. ” Oh u Speak Arabic wooow! Who Taught u That” or” How many Surah’s do u know” if u are a Muslim

2. ” Who taught u how to Dance/Dabkeh You’re Really Good”

3. ” You Don’t Even Date MashAllah! That’s Great”

4. ” You Know How to Pray?”

5. ” You actually like Mansaf!!! I thought u would hate it!”

6. ” Would u Rather Marry an Arab or an American Guy?” 

There are alot, but I just cannot Remember or for personal reasons cannot be posted. while it hurts sometimes  I just laugh at their pure Ignorance because they don’t know how Lucky we are to be Raised in 2 Different Worlds no matter where ur Mother comes from or Dad… Hope u like this Piece if  I find other Inspiration I’ll def let u know InshAllah. Ma3aSalaama!

International Idol Competitions….. the real story

As American Idol approaches at it’s end , we now have Arab Idol. Contrary to what critics say , The show is off the Hook. As for American Idol Contestants I am all torn apart with My Two Favorites Kree Harrison & Angie Miller. As for My pick for Arab Idol I am a HUGE Fan of Berwas Hussien from Iraq & she’s a Kurdish Girl & not Arab like Angie Miller , she’s got some chops & sings in Kurdish. As for the Guys , Mohammed Assaf from Palestine , Waleed Saad from Lebanon & Muhannad from Iraq. I would only Pick my Top 3 Guess  Mohammed , Waleed & Berwas cuz that’s what I think. Anyways , until the Final I won’t be saying anymore. As Far as the Judges go , My Favorite American Idol Judge is Keith Urban & not because I am a Fan of His music. My Favorite Arab Idol Judge is Nancy Ajram & Hassan El Shafie . Like Randy Jackson , Hassan El Shafie is a Producer only younger & much nicer when it comes to his critiques of the contestants unlike Randy Jackson , who says it really meanly even tho he means to be honest. Nancy , contrary to what people say that she’s FAKE which in the last results Episode , she Cried because it was hard for her out of the 2 Contestants Mirna Hasham or Waleed S3aad  in which she chose Waleed. Mirna is still young & Inshallah when she’s a little bit expeirenced she’ll go far. In anycase, I will tell u the winners of both Idol Contests when I get the Results. Just wanted to post something fun out there & oh host Ahmed Fahmy is waaay better than Ryan Seacrest  the only difference is Ahmed is a Musician & Ryan is a DJ :). Till Next Time Salaam!