Working with arab americans
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Working with Arab Americans. Stereotypes. Arab Americans are descended from Nomadic Desert Tribes They Come from Oil-Rich Middle Eastern Countries They May Have Terrorist Connections They May be Members of a Violent Islamic Fundamentalist Religion. Stereotypes.

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Working with Arab Americans

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Working with arab americans

Working with Arab Americans


Stereotypes

Stereotypes

  • Arab Americans are descended from Nomadic Desert Tribes

  • They Come from Oil-Rich Middle Eastern Countries

  • They May Have Terrorist Connections

  • They May be Members of a Violent Islamic Fundamentalist Religion


Stereotypes1

Stereotypes

  • Arab American Women Are Subservient to the Men

  • Arab Americans Look Different


Past connections

Past Connections

  • First Wave

    • 1875 to 1920

    • Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine

    • Primarily farmers or village artisans

  • Second Wave

    • From late 1940’s

    • Immigrated from many countries

    • Wanted to escape civil wars, famine & hardship after WWII

    • Primarilyeducated, bilingual, & politicized


Current profile

Current Profile

  • 1% of U.S. Population

  • Geographical Aspects

    • 90% are urban dwellers

    • Northeast - Arab Americans most likely found

    • Midwest - Detroit-Dearborn, Cleveland, Chicago, Toledo

    • South - Southern Federation of Syria-Lebanon Clubs

    • West - So. California & San Francisco Bay Area


Current profile1

Current Profile

  • Demographics

    • Young and growing population

    • Twice as many Arab Americans earn advanced degrees

    • Self-employed, managerial & professional jobs

    • Have the highest mean income of any U.S. group

    • Family Size – depends on length of time in U.S.


Common threads of arab cultures

Common Threads of ArabCultures

  • Arabic Language

    • Most unifying factor in Arab culture

    • Poetic, spiritual, emotional & sensuous

  • World Views

    • In Muslim homeland – Allah’s will

    • Arab American identity is a compromise between two cultures


Common threads of arab cultures religions

Common Threads of Arab Cultures - Religions

  • Muslim 23% - Christian 77%

  • Muslims

    • More difficult to integrate due to differences in religious beliefs that affect social practices

    • Integration of church & state

    • Non-Arab Muslims

    • The Quran and Five Pillars of Islam

  • Religious Education

    • Maintains social rules & expected behavior


Common threads of arab cultures family values customs

Common Threads of ArabCultures Family Values & Customs

  • Family is more important than individual

  • Families are patriarchal & extended

  • Family name is guarded by all members

    • Female modesty & chastity reflect on honor of men, family, and community

  • Members of an extended family help each other to immigrate

  • Arabs do not make casual friendships


Common threads of arab cultures1

Common Threads of Arab Cultures

  • Gender Issues

    • Vary by country of origin, rural or urban area, and length of time in U.S.

      Muslim Households

    • Dramatically different sexual standards for males & females

    • Males acquire more material objects than girls and have much more freedom

    • Marriages are arranged in home countries and recent immigrants tend to follow suit


Common threads of arab cultures muslim social customs

Common Threads of Arab Cultures -Muslim Social Customs

  • Physical Space – Closest physical proximity

  • Handshaking - Religious Reasons

    • Men may not touch or make direct eye contact with any non family female

    • Remaining untouched near prayer time

  • Body Covering

    • Not universally observed - varies by region & class

  • Food- Muslims do not eat pork


Leadership challenges opportunities

Leadership Challenges & Opportunities

  • Don’t assume they’re Arab or Middle East Experts

  • Give Stereotyping Protection

  • Get to know them as individuals

  • Recognize their personal strengths and potentials

    • Independent, well educated, productive

  • Capitalize on their networking skills


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