a Brief Summary of Arab American & Muslim Culture

Tag: Men

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.

Why Dating is Haraam & why Muslim Girls cannot be in a Interfaith Relationship , but still do

I know I should be the LAST person to be talking about this  but I hey , someone’s gotta do it right?. I mean I know People tell me ” Well , She’s Muslim & She Dates”. 1st of all Pre Marital Relationships are HARAAM (Forbidden) because it could make u do some terrible things to u like committing Zina ( Fornication) esp amongst young people whilist not even being Married.  If it is Naseeb ( Destined) by Allah/God for them to get Married they will , but if they’re meant to be Single Forever , there’s nothing they could do about it. Look at me , I’ve been single for over 30 Years , and while I am Happy being Single , it gets hard I am gonna admit that to anyone who reads it. My Friends have already moved on with their lives having Children & Moving away. I’ve had my share of Widows & Divorcee’s in my Group of Friends & I know Relationships are overrated anyways so don’t try to give me that advice. Now the new trend these days is Arab Muslim Girls Marrying Non Muslim American Guys well Most convert & due to the lack of Arab Muslim Men  , but the Most part it is Haraam to do so.  It just depends on if the Family is Traditional/Religious or not.  If the Guy sees a Muslim Girl & thinks she’s cute , it’s better to stay away from them because it’s not gonna go anywhere. another question I get is ” Well Men Can Marry Christian’s & Jews cuz they’re People Of The Book , Why Can’t Women?”. The answer is that the Man is the Provider of the Household &  The Children will have to Follow his Religion or Ethnicity & So Forth. I know  u think this is Racist , but I did not make up the rules here this is just how life goes. And the whole Talking thing that us Muslims do when we see a person we have a Crush on & Wanna Marry? 75% of the time it doesn’t really work out although some have worked out with the Aquantances. Most of the Time , Young Muslim People are unrealistic about their choice of Partners that’s why they have soo many High Divorce Rates in the United States alone . I’ve had my fair share of talking or someone hooked me up & it didn’t work out I had maybe 1 person who had a crush on me.  Overseas , they tend to look at personality rather than looks they think Attraction means nothing  to them. I dunno if they studied Science or Laws Of  Gravity before in their Life. In my 20’s I never really knew what I wanted , but now I think I got an Idea  InshA’Allah I hope it works out in the NEAR Future , if not I think I’ll have a awesome guy in Paradise just dying to meet me. Don’t worry , I am NOTHING like these other Arab  Muslim Single Girls  out there  I have better things to do with my own life than think about someone that’ll never come around although it gets frustrating , I know that timing is everything. Just Pray that I get thru this. I hope ya’ll understand  till then , Salaam out!