Ten Things You Need to Know About Arabs

I found this on the Civil Arab and couldn’t help but share it here:

Whoever coined the term “Ignorance is bliss” is an absolute idiot. Ignorance is not bliss. In fact, ignorance leads to misunderstanding. Misunderstanding leads to fear. Fear leads to bias and hate. So I am here to present to the American public the top 10 things that Arabs want non-Arabs to know about them. If you remember these, then Arabs will not look at you as a “Dumb American.”

1. Not all of us are Muslim

As an Arab Christian myself, I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard, “When did you convert?” I would be a very rich man. About 10% of the Arab population is Christian. Yes, we are a minority, but we are still there and have been Christians for 2,000 years. I’m not sure how good the average American is at geography, but Jesus is from the Middle East!

2. Falafel, Hummus, and Shawarma are Arabic foods, NOT Israeli foods.

A couple of months ago, I was talking with an American girl about Middle Eastern food. She told me that she loves falafel and she used to eat it a lot because she has Israeli friends. Please, do not ever say that to an Arab. Israel was created in 1948, and I can say with complete certainty that we have been eating hummus for much longer than that.

3. Arabs and Jews HAVE NOT been fighting for thousands of years

Arabs and Jews have been fighting since only 1948, when Israel was created. In fact, Jews left Europe to the Middle East because Arabs historically treated Jews better than Europeans did. Jews are Semitic people, and so are Arabs. We are actually closer to each other than Europeans.

4. ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and other Islamic militant groups DO NOT reflect the views of all Muslims

Yes, you see these guys on the news all the time. But they are huge minorities and not popular at all. The Middle East is much more secular than you would think. In an American equivalent, it would be like the Westboro Baptist Church serving as a reflection on all Christians.

5. Smoking hookah is nothing new

Hookah is the new thing. Hookah bars are everywhere near college campuses, and its popularity among our youth grows by the day. But from our perspective, you’re a little late to the party. I don’t remember the last time I went to a family function and there was no hookah lit up and ready to go. If you are fortunate enough to smoke hookah with an Arab, be prepared for the licorice-tasting goodness that is Double Apple flavor.

6. When I say that I am from Palestine, that doesn’t mean Pakistan, and it DEFINITELY doesn’t mean Israel

If you really want to make a Palestinian mad, just ask if he is from Israel. Your result will not end happily, I can assure you that. And it is Palestine. Not Pakistan. Please know that we aren’t the same thing.

7. There’s a right way to say “Iraq”

We aren’t asking for you to use the hard beginning and ending that the word “Iraq” has in it. Just remember, it is “E-rock” rather than “I-rack.”

8. Persians aren’t Arabs

Persians hate this too. We are completely different people. We come from completely different backgrounds. Yes, we have the same skin tone and are ridiculously hairy, but we are not the same. We speak Arabic, and Persians speak Farsi. They might sound the same, but they aren’t even close. And, to be honest, Persians have the better kabob (sorry Arabs).

9. “Lebanese food” is Arabic food

If you have a Lebanese friend, you know exactly what I’m talking about. “Traditional Lebanese food” includes hummus, tabbouleh, and kibbeh nayyeh (yeah, it’s raw meat). But this food isn’t specifically Lebanese. We all eat that food. Don’t let them fool you when they say “Lebanese food,” because that is just a cover for Arabic food.

10. We love to party

Forget Vegas. If you want to go party, go to Dubai, Beirut, Sharm el Sheikh, or Amman. I promise that you will have the time of your life. Don’t believe me? If you have an Arab friend, just wait until they get married. Arab weddings might be the best parties that you will ever go to. If you don’t have an Arab friend, just crash an Arab wedding. There will be so many people there that they probably won’t notice you.

My comments:

1. Arabs can be Muslims, Christians, Druze, Atheists, irreligious and even Jews (but after 1948 Israel decided to tell Jews that they’re better than Arabs and therefore gave them the Jewish nationality). And now Israel would like to give the Christians Arab (Palestinian citizens of Israel) a new nationality – Aramaic. Why? It’s another level of apartheid: they want to turn the Christian Arabs against the Muslim Arabs. That’s all.

2. I think Shawarma is originally Turkish, though it was and it is extremely popular among Arabic countries. Turkish coffee is the same as Arabic coffee, but people only refer to it as Turkish, even though it’s both.

Adding some more of my own:
We don’t all wear the Hijab. We don’t all believe in God. We’re not all so conservative. Some of us drink, smoke and even eat pork. Some of us have bright skin, hair and eyes.

29 thoughts on “Ten Things You Need to Know About Arabs

  1. The Middle East stretches across Asia through the Arab countries of North Africa. This
    includes Iraq, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. Along with Arabs, Turks and Persians make up the
    region of the Middle East. The majority of the population is Muslim; however, there are a
    plentiful amount of Christians Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and Palestinian areas. Also, most
    Israelis follow the Jewish faith. Although Arabic is the dominant language, Israelis speak
    Hebrew, Turks speak Turkish, and Iranians speak Farsi.

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  2. I am meeting an Arab friend for the first time in two weeks time, in London. It should be good. I am not sure I will remember all of that. I don’t tend to watch much TV and am not that well educated or worldly in that respect, or good with geography. I am good at having many friends online from around the globe and some in person from around the globe. I take people as I find them. I love learning about different culture and asking them what they like, what their interests are and forget prejudices.

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    1. Hi. sorry for the late reply.
      When you meet someone from a different culture for the first time, you can easily be friendly and get to know them by asking general questions about their interests, and hobbies.
      Arabs for example aren’t all the same. Many Arabs like to adapt a different lifestyle than others, and it has nothing to do with culture.
      Though it’s always confusing when you meet a religious Muslim, you never know how to act around them or what kind of language to use. I still struggle in that area, and I live among them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Arwa, thank you. I have already met him now. On Mon Tues and Wed this week. To be honest, I am quite confident in meeting and talking to people from other cultures, because I make lots of online friends and some in person friends, from around the globe. To be honest, romantically – I am a heteroromantic, Grey asexual, Cougar – I am mostly only attracted to foreign guys, predominantly 21-25. I have only dated foreign guys in the last 3 years, 21-27 years, but in the past they were all sexual so no good for me. I have had boyfriends from different cultures in the past too. You are right, they are all different. I am really young for my birth certificate age and most of my male friends both on and offline, are in their early to mid twenties and I relate best to this age group, although I am often too young for them, in my quirky personality.

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  3. Informative post. Hopefully sharing such information will reduce the strife between people, races, cultures, religions, nations, etc. Nobody is perfect. By the same token, nobody is bad, or evil, or whatever the opposite of perfect is.

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    1. That’s true. I agree. Everyone should always share information about their culture, nationality, race, religions etc. And no one is better than another based on culture, religion, nationality or any background. People are indeed better than other people, but it is based on personality and the core of each person.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Very good, very good. My husband went to Cairo to study and wanted to bridge the gap and educate people just as you have done here. He gave up for many reasons and became a social worker to which he is more suited. But what you have done here is good, very good.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There are so many kind of stereotypes against all sort of ethnic groups in the world, which the entire world should become more aware of.
      The thing about Arabs, sometimes I feel that it’s crucial since there are a lot of different wars in the Middle East. And I recently heard of an incident in the Middle East about young people being killed because they’re Muslims.
      Racism against the Arabs in Israel became something practiced everyday. And people should be aware of it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. It is also Turkish coffee that the Greeks call “Greek coffee” but…
    OK.
    I knew these facts but I think they should be spread out in the world like flower petals 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The history of the Turkish coffee is a bit complex, as I’m not sure who brought it first the Turkish or the Arabs.
      Still, the Israelis would never like to admit it’s an Arabic thing.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I Thank you for sharing this article. When I was reading it I understood completely. As a Black Woman others outside my race see me as a stereotype and not a real person. I have to work with the general public on a daily basis and white visitors assume I must be a drug addict, their personal servant and/or a woman of easy virtue just because I’m Black. I live in a society where I’m Black first and always, never a fully realized human being.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It’s amazing how ignorant people can be.
      Since I live among Jews, they are always in a shock about my looks, style and behavior.
      Sometimes, so I cannot be judged, I hide my identity and language. Because we Arabs in Israel are less than citizens. We are Arabs first, and never a fully realized human being.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Question? In Israel would you say that the Jews in power or Leadership positions mostly Ashkenazi Jews as opposed to Sephardic or Ethiopian of Jewish faith. I had read where Sephardim and Ethiopian Jews were treated badly. Is this true?

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        1. Ashkenazi Jews are indeed in power. Most of them have the European look. As for Sephardim, they’re not as badly treated as the Ethiopian Jews. In Israel you have the Ashkenazi and then the rest goes bellow. You can always find clear racism against the Ethiopian Jews, but not as bad as racism against the Arabs.
          One more thing, for Israel Jews, Christians shouldn’t be considered Arabs. They also like to distinguish between us, and consider Muslims as worse. And yet, we all look the same.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. You caught me out on the felafels. One of my daughters worked as a volunteer in Lebanon some years back (during the troubles) so most of the rest I knew but not all. Thanks this was really informative.

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