After graduating and becoming a professional I started to attend events sponsored by the ADC (American Arab Anti Discrimination Committee) , that did not last long as I found that the ADC main
function is a dating service for young Arabs in the area, I found it strange that the organization was called : American Arab Anti Discrimination Committee !! All the ethnic groups that I got to know over time always put their ethnicity ahead of their American identity: African Americans , Chinese Americans , Iranian Americans, Italian Americans ...etc but some how we became American Arabs !! to me that was not a coincidence but a microcosm of the mentality of the Arab immigrant in the USA : he/she is embarrassed and ashamed of their heritage and have an identity crisis that only a few were able to resolve.
I noticed that ethnic groups in the USA speak their mother tongue when they are around each other (Persians , Armenians , Greeks ...etc) but not Arabs , we speak English (no matter how awful our accent is and how we mix our P's and B's) even when no one is around us. Again a sign of insecurity and being uncomfortable in their own skin.
The state of the community , the cultural confusion , the double standards , the excessive materialism and constant gossip and judgement of the people made me associate very little with them. For I realized they are very different than people I grew up with , and are different than other minorities (worse in many cases) and are definitely taking what is bad about Arabic culture and what is bad about American culture to combine it into one bad ugly mix , always makes me feel out of place.
I picked up the local news paper today from the Arabic grocery store : The Arab World , and to my dismay there was about 5 adds for the CIA and 3 for the US Army. Opportunities by "our" government to help "us" out by contributing as translators and "cultural" consultants. The main Arab festival in the region , 3 days of "good food" and "great music" and dancing is actually sponsored by the CIA , US Army and FBI.
I never attend those festivals , so I have no idea how many booths they have and how effective the recruiting process is and how eager are the Arabs to serve and help in the quest of spreading American freedom (or is it Imperialism ?)... The Chutzpah is that they even THANK the CIA for kindly sponsoring their event.
The sponsor of the pathetic festival and the founder of the Arab organization putting the festival together writes in an editorial that " No one can deny the contribution of the Arab community to all fields : Science , politics , economics , art and literature." Did he fail to mention :spying , espionage , occupation , torture ? how much have we contributed Mister ? Ask your sponsors for data , they will gladly provide it for you.
He then pathetically claims that the purpose of the festival is to change the "mentality of the simple Americans who does not know that we are like them : we love to dance , eat , fashion and like them WE LOVE LIFE"
WE LOVE LIFE !! what does that mean ? why do Arabs (and March 14th movement in Lebanon) have to prove to the white man that "we love life" , is part of "loving life" selling out ? is part of "loving life" not having any principles ? is part of "loving life" help those who are responsible for the destruction and ruins of Iraq , Afghanistan and Pakistan ? is part of "loving life" telling the white man that we Muslims celebrate Christmas and honor Jesus and Mary ?
Irony is few Americans will change their opinions by this approach , few will attend the festival , and this is just a euphemism to give something more meaning than it deserves. This festival sponsored by the CIA is just an excuse of people to get together and have a good time , spare me the political rhetoric and the Gibran references. All ethnic groups have them , and only we are honored to have the CIA and FBI sponsor ours. Arabs will drive in the thousands to it , eat mediocre food, listen to bad Arab pop music and look for good husbands and wives for their children.
I am out of place. But at least I have my peace of mind and principles.