Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Being An Arab …

Actually, I’ve been wanting to write about this ever since I read what people from around the world were commenting on the beheading of Nicholas Berg. But I couldn’t put together my thoughts and write them down, because they were too sad to be expressed. But I’m fed up, and I decided to finally write even a bit of what I feel.
Why do so many people hate Arabs in general and Muslims in particular?? I read horrible stuff about Arabs, disgusting thoughts of Muslims, evil wishes for them to disappear and experience more torture and more humiliation. A one of a kind hatred towards people whose only fault is being Arab…
I know it was a terrible experience to watch a civilian getting killed in such an awful way, but what I read was not a reaction to Berg’s case only, it was concerning people’s opinion of Arabs, how they look at them, what they wish to do to them.
They described Arabs as uncivilized, savage, impolite, terrorists, criminals by nature, animals, extremists, illiterates, and so much more of these stupid expressions that has nothing to do with the reality of Arabs.
The sad fact is I realized only now that no matter how hard Arabs work, and no matter how honest and loyal they are, there will always be this sick image about Arabs which will never change no matter what. So defending Arabs wont do any good, unless people open their eyes and hearts and try to take a closer look at them inside out.
Arabs, they are proud people, kind-hearted, very honest, hard workers, intelligent, loyal and tolerant. Arabs are Muslims, they are Christians and Jews. They all respect each other, and they’re all there for each other. They’re so helpful, and they treat their guests the best way any guest could ever be treated.
The fact that you are a foreigner, from another Arab country or from Europe or else where, makes them feel its their duty to help you out manage in their country, adapt to their lifestyle, and make you feel welcomed.
I really wish people will see Arabs as they really are, there are many things to know about Arabs other than their beautiful faces, their beautiful skin color, their sexy belly dance, or their delicious food.
I don’t understand how they say Arabs are not educated, when they have the knowledge and don’t lack smartness. They speak languages, they have their scientific achievements, they have their inventions and investments, they have their musical talents and their rich literature. Why don’t people read more about Arabs. Look at their history, try to mix with their present and share their future plans and goals. But I guess it’s easier to follow this old convention of Arabs being nothing but losers who bring bad luck and ruin life. Yes that’s what so many people think, calling Arabs the “annoying immigrants” that should be limited and kicked out. As if they go to a country for fun, as if they don’t play a role in building society, as if they don’t work for a living, as if they aren’t useful members of the country they’re in! Why then do so many countries post newspaper ads in the Arab world asking for employees! Why do they post ads in newspapers calling for tempting immigration opportunities?! And are Arabs the only immigrants of the world? Aren’t there many Europeans, Americans and Canadians who choose to spend the rest of their lives in the Arab world? Why do Arabs welcome non-Arab immigrants? Because they believe they have the right to live wherever they choose, they appreciate their presence and recognize it as a constructive one.
And as any other society in the world, Arabs have the bad people among them. Does that mean all Arabs are so? No it means only one thing: whoever judges Arabs without knowing them really well, is the one with the narrow thinking and poor cultural background.

All I can say is, any Arab should be proud of being Arab, regardless of the world’s wrong ideas, a day will come when the whole world will finally see Arabs as they are, love them for who they are, and respect them for what they do. On the other hand, Arabs should always ask, why were they on the top in the past, known as the civilized and progressive part of the world, with their sciences and intelligence lighting up the whole world, and then all of a sudden they became the dark side of earth! Answer is simple: Arabs gave up, war has filled them with fear of speaking up, injustice has made their world full of doubts, losing confidence in their presence and losing hope of a better tomorrow. Therefore all Arabs should never let anyone’s misjudgments influence their pride nor their confidence, they should stick to who they are and keep working hard as before until the real value of Arabs will be won back again.