a Brief Summary of Arab American & Muslim Culture

Tag: Libya

Are we not even Human? the Attacks in 24hours

What happened in Paris , France was really sad and horrific . My heart goes out to the families and loved ones whom are still reeling in from this tragedy. , But there’s one thing I’d like to point out, why all of the sudden do people care if something is going on in the West when Beirut and Baghdad were both being bombed?. I am sick and tired of trying to apologize or condemn these attacks that ISIS whom I DONT consider them apart of our Muslim community at all.  43 People in Beirut died in the south district  where the majority of the neighborhood is of the Shiite Sect. At least 2 people from the Dearborn , Michigan area were among the victims killed. In Baghdad , scores of people were killed while attending a funeral. Who’s to say that one group of lives matter than the other’s? I may sympathize with Lebanon and Iraq because I grew up around Refugees from those two countries and not conic dentally they were of both Muslim sects. I have a heart for all humanity including my Origin country of Libya and my Nurture Country of Palestine. I feel like the Ummah has definitely feel apart whether we kill Non Muslims or Each Other. That’s all I have to say about this sad situations I guess people don’t have an ounce of humanity anymore. May God be with us all.

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.

How Arabs & Or Muslims deal with People with Disabilities & Diseases

Just over a few months ago , a little girl in Tripoli , Libya was left in the Hospital by her Parents when she was Diagnosed with HIV no one wanted her. I feel kind of sad when I hear stories like that. I , the anonymous blogger have a Mild Form of Cerebral Palsy , and while I was there for 6 Months they didn’t even think anything was wrong with me. Just bcuz someone has a great intelligence doesn’t mean that something’s not wrong. Usually Arab Women would go to the OBGYN to get tested to see if their Child will have some form of Defect when it comes time to give birth. Now , I am not gonna give u my whole life story , but when my Parents went to an Arab Doctor they just thought it was an Arab thing that I’d be delayed. I was Diagnosed at a year & a half by a Persian Doctor who knew what the case was. The thing is , Parents don’t know how to handle themselves when it comes to having a Child with a Disease or a Disability sometimes , they cannot handle it and give it to someone else , unless they’re really Religious & know that Allah (SWT) was in control & they have to accept this. Some even fear that their child won’t be able have a Normal life like get Married , Have Children etc… esp if it’s the oldest child. Thankfully , my Mom is American & Both of my Parents have a firm belief that Allah/God knows best for what my future holds for me. In anycase , I would tell these Parents to Make alot of Du’aa ( Prayer) to help u become patient during those difficult times when ur Child has a bad attitude or if they get sick. Allah can only give us so much that we can handle and only he knows best. If u have enough Eman ( Faith ) then u would have an easier time accepting it. As someone who has it , it took me a long time to finally accept that this is what I have & I am still learning. InshA’Allah ( GodWilling) I do hope to see my future in settling down with a Great Guy & have a few Kids , but if not in this life than InshA’Allah in Jannah (Paradise) for sure if I do get in there. Till then , I am just living my wonderful life right now seeing as I see so many Able Bodied people having a more difficult life than I do nothings wrong with them it’s just life. Till then have a Great Weekend & Salam Out!

It’s Spring! and Love is in the Air. All about Engagments & Marriage.

So in at least a Year and just a Few Short Months of 2013 , Half of My Friends are all Recently Engaged/Married & It’s about time to crank up the party! whatever Arab Muslim Country u are from. See I’m gonna tell u about the whole Process of how we do our Relationships even tho it’s universal that ALL Relationships are complicated. Muslims are not allowed to Date it’s Haraam ( Forbidden) so we wait to get Engaged & then get Married whenever the time is Right it’s one of the things that Allah/God has prescribe for us. A guy sees a Girl and goes to the Father & asks for her Hand in Marriage if she agrees then they do the Fathia , but most of the Arab Countries in the Middle East to a Khutbah or writing of the Islamic Contract , in Libya they don’t because it’s forbidden. Guys & Girls don’t typically get to know each other until after they’ve been married hince the ol saying ” Love Comes After Marriage” . To me it sounds pretty pathetic ( I hope God Forgives me for saying that) , but that’s just how I feel. It limits from Single Girls like me the Opportunity to be with some great guys even tho everything’s ” Naseeb” destined. Everytime I go home ( Overseas) they always ask why am I not Married. Culturally , over 25 is expired & Cut off they tend to believe that a Man makes ur Worth or brings u Freedom which I don’t think so . InshA’Allah ( GodWilling) I hope in the near future I end up finding someone as awesome as I am & Typical Americans ask me ” What if I end up alone?”  it’s god’s will and I have No control over that matter. I know u think Islam is a Backwards  Religion , but it keeps us from doing the wrong type of things.  A Man & a Woman should not be alone if they’re not married to each other the devil is the 3rd party. Another thing is culturally the boys & girls cannot be Friends cuz likely they’ll be afraid that if one has feelings for the other than It causes tension and awkwardness esp if the Families are Friends & they think u actually would sleep with a person ( Wrong Again). Anyways , Islamically u do the Fatha between the couple & Wait untill the Wedding , but in other countries like Palestine , Lebanon, Egypt , Syria and Iraq. In My Fathers country of Libya , they do the Fatha  even tho they write the Kitab cuturally or Relgiously it’s not permissable to be alone if ur actually Married. So anyways , the Engagment Parties are all fun the Bride to be Wears a Pretty Formal Dress & we all Dance & do The Dabke . The Groom Comes in & the Rings are Exchanged . The Wedding is even better , but the night before the Wedding we have a Hennah where sometimes we dress in our Traditional Outfits which we Call 3araby weather it’s a Libyan Get up or a Palestinan Thobe. The Wedding is Off the Hook with the Zaffe ( Processions) where the Bride & Groom walk in or if ur a Traditionalist the Libyans  the Bride walks in by herself. And then there’s the outro Zaffe as well. U might be thinking this is a Crazy post , but wanted to share happiness with everyone. I’ll be Partying up for everyone else even if I am a 30 something person living the good life. Till then! Dabke & Party on!