Date: How does it feel to be a problem? Being young and Arab in America Not more than a century gone, W.E.B Du Bois posed a sensitive question in his series the Souls of Black Folk: How does it feel to be a problem?, Later Moustafa Bayoumi revisit the question of the new Arab in America concerning their emerging problems in the American society…
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He asserts that these groups of men and women face persistent security surveillance and police detentions, discrimination in the workplace, progressive threats from unorganized groups, and disappearance of close family and friends occasionally. Bayoumi looks into the real meaning of what it requires being an Arab American and a Muslim-American in today’s American society ten years after the September 9/11 attacks. In quite diverse ways, I find Bayoumi’s writing as affectionate and true representation of the current American societal problem in the 21st century. His summaries on the tribulations of these young Arab men and women being taken from their homes, being harassed by strangers and being dropped from the work environment just by having a Muslim name bears great discriminatory implications that the public rarely gets to know. It can be suggested that with light academic infusion, he acts as a voice of the less heard people, with the result of tentative resistance from this generation and a new hope to face the American challenges and the state to revert these confronting prejudices against its population. (Bayoumi) From the cover, Bayoumi argues out his long journey in being an Arab-American and how that is a “new problems” (2) in the United States. ...
He provides a classic example of Omar who he claims can hide his Arab background because he is half Chilean but instead relates to the Arab side more often than the American side. While reading this piece, it becomes imperative that Bayoumi goes beyond the borders in not just presenting his audience with information on what he perceives are met on Arab-Americans, but goes further into offering a real insight into recounts of these victims in the hands of authorities and colleagues. The author provides a detailing accounts of Rasha, who is a Palestinian-American teenager detained with the other family members just after the 9/11 attacks. In victim’s own words, one can get a feeling of the frustration she went through while under detention under unclear circumstances at a time when she was only 19. Further, the author introduces the audience to Sami is a half kin from Arab and Christian background. Sami overcomes the societal limitations placed upon him by his the public as an Arab with regards to whom to associate with our accomplishments. He also defies his Muslim society's expectations who would otherwise expect him to behave in a particular cultural life different from the American life. With these examples, Bayoumi does not only let the readers understand the societal limits and mistreatments met upon the young Arab populations in a contemporary American society, but it also exposes the kind of perseverance, courage and determination of these young people in achieving their dreams while balancing the unique demands of one’s social-cultural orientations against persistent alienation and discrimination in a another country. With determination, and drama of unexpected
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