Monday, March 15, 2010

AMErtChaaaa vs Middle East

It's my first visit to the states. and i must admit its not exactly how i imagined it would be. there are alot of thoughts i had that were pretty much engraved in my head as i was growing up. like you hear someone say "wallahi ibni ra7 yudrus fi ameerka" replys with a GASP " yeeeee yeee Allah yustur.. hada il walad daa333 hadowl il ajaneb ma 3indhum la 3ayb wala haram" and so on.

So well you grow up with an idea that if u enter the states automatically you will be brainwashed and your mentality will turn into britney spear's. Or that when you go in with hijab ppl will swear at you and throw rocks at you and call you a terrorist. Its not at all like that.

Well there is very high security at airports and yes you will be searched and maybe a few people will stare. BUT generally speaking i have found that people here are more friendly. For Ex u enter a shop.. the first thing they say " HOW R U TODAY?" with a smil. when u leave they say " Have a Good Day, or Have a Good One" opposed to the " BIDEK musa3adeh?" with mush tay2a 7ali look. or those annoying ppl who follow you in the store and u just wanna smack them with ur purse. IM JUST LOOKing can i please breathe?

The ADS ON TV... WOW... i am serious. u would want to watch the ads more than the show ur watching! unlikes SEDAR al EMARAT ads or those MBC ads that repeat every 2 seconds. i mean did u really think i missed watching the ad the first 3 times u played it in the last 5 minutes?

I am not just praising amreeka sheeka beeka wa or saying il 3arab kokha. i am just saying that there is a positive and negative side to everything. yes they might be a bit too FREE. But i came from dubai and i have seen girls wear almost nothing to the mall. i have heard shocking stories about the oppeness that has reached dubai. so its not just in the states. its all around the world. maybe in the states its just less restricted and its considered freedom of choice.

They have many museums, libraries, activities for families. In the arab world i feel this is something that is missing. its not encouraged the way it is in the west.

The FOOD... no wonder usa has a high rate of obesity.. the variety of food u will find is... mouth watering.. but you will also find that alot of ppl jog and excersize and take care of thier health.

The baby food section.. ya salaaaaam... u have soo much to choose from... lulu is enjoying that!

What i love most is the simple way of life. Everyone does what they want and pretty much no one cares. You can have a garage sale. You can sue anyone for anything :P. they cant fire you for wearing hijab. They encourage Recycling and taking care of NATURE! So many helplines and awareness campains and help groups. And ofcourse i can get to watch all the tv shows on TV :P instead of downloading :P

Conclusion. Yes We have our differences. And it is harder to be a strong muslim when you dont hear the adan, and there is a lot of fitan when the culture has nothing to do with islam. but that is jihad and we face it even in the middle east. its within ourselves. and its not as bad as you would imagine! So my US expereince till now.. no2 bad no2 bad a2 all <-- very bad bri2ish accent. why british mush american accent.. because im sleepy... yala good night


Anonymous said...

Amreecha !! 7amdellah 3al're still under a culturl shock :P

enjoy ur stay...the most frequent complain I hear from people is the social life...maybe not for everybody

Anonymous said...

Oh what fun it is to read your experiences, please keep it up. I want more! enjoy your stay.

kinzi said...

Habeebti, thank you for "smiling at the good and frowning at the bad", just like Madeline (while you ar there get Lulu some Madeline books!)

I love how you want to smack people with purses!!

you know, living my faith as a Christian as a minority, without the props of culture, has made me a much stronger, more involved follower of my faith. I wonder if it is the same for Muslims in the US?

jaraad said...

That was nice. I am glad you are having a good time here. The best thing about the US is that you can always find a way to enjoy what you like most.

Anonymous said...

I don't really know how much u r gonna stay here .. but here is how things work.. when u first move to the states u go through different phases. Right now u r still in phase 1 (The culture shock) it takes 3-6 months .. this phase was actually the best for me because everything was just like "Wow" .. I mean back in Jordan non of my neighbors has ever taken a topless sun bath on their balconies!!

After a while everything will become "3adi", "boring", "What the hell I'm doin here", "My kids can't even speak Arabic and my 6 year old daughter is a friend with a black kid from school", "I can't stay here but at the same time I cant go back", "I hate myself", "I wasted my life away from the people I love" .. etc .. my point is: enjoy this phase as much as u can.

Dino$ said...

kinzi :) i will definitely check out madeline! love the variety of kid books here! they promote reading in so many ways!

kinzi i think whether you are christian or muslim when you are in a country where you have to struggle to keep your faith strong you realize that you hold on more to it and maybe get stronger faith because you know you need it.

Its kind of ironic as a muslim i felt in the middle east i faced a lot of criticism and difficulties with my hijab from friends and family. I heard things like " it makes u look older " " liesh ya habeebti lisatik sgheera" or "who will marry you now". and i feel in scotland/london/and the states they smiel and sometimes even compliment me on my hijab?!! isn that ironic?!

i personally feel when ur in a non muslim country and u see the unislamic ways of life u think to yourself " its ok they are not muslim and i have my own beliefs they have thiers" so you are not really tempted or swayed and tell urself we are different. tha hard part is when u are in a muslim country and you see muslims that have nothing to do with islam. its hard to stay strong when the ppl around are from the same religion/nationality. you can't say "oh they are not muslim". that is when its harder.

i have met christians that r more conservative than muslims .

big hug kanoozti

Dino$ said...

anonymous i totally agree with you. i have seen family that live in the states who can hardly speak a word or arabic and when they do it sounds like american arabic. no matter how much a parent will teach thier kids about their culture/language/religion. they will most likely be affected by the outer influence and from the american lifestyle .

i know its hard to live in the states as an arab/muslim and no matter how hard you try you can't control who ur kids will talk to and be friends with. i think you do your best and pray that God will guide them and take care of them.

in a way this is post is to tell ppl to see the good with the bad instead of just pointing out the bad all the time.


Dino$ said...

hamdanism... when u have a hyper active baby you dont have time to socialize :P 3u2bal ma nshoofaak 3arees

Anonymous said...

i like i like, what you say is so very true there are things to keep and things to throw away anywhere you live you just have to be comfortable with them

M said...

Looks like you're having fun in Amreecha!

Enjoy the rest of your stay. :)

Raeef said...

Ana badros B Amrika, ya3ni ana de3et :O? ya lahwi?
ween ro7ti bl zabt?

Dino$ said...

MElicieus wallah mazboot.. u can take the good ignore the bad and make the best of what u got :)

Thanks M i have fun inshala fi bombay its not about the location its about how u adjust :)

And RAeef sorry to inform you inak de3et.. sorry you had to find out this way.. mustagbalak ba7.. inta fi amreeka ya3ni ra7at 3aliek..

:P i suggest u buy GPS it will guide u :P

Lirun said...


Dino$ said...

lirun :)

Dino$ said...

18... i remember feeling 18 was old.. omg now im 28 and its 10 years later i just dont know how that happened so fast! i was just telling my husband the other day. if the next 10 years past as quick ill be 40 and omg well ok since im almost 30. plus 10.. so i got depressed telling him im almost 40.. he did not take me seriously hehe

enjoyyyyyyyyyyyy ur age and its way to early to get hooked. ur classmate :S well Mabrook 3alieha

jana said...

Hi :)
I always read your blog but never have commented...but this post was really interesting.

I'm 18 years old, born in Jordan, after 3 months I moved to the U.S with my family. I've lived here ever since.

I've attended an Islamic/Arabic private school my entire life. I learned about my faith and learned everything about my language that they teach in the arab world, while learning my other subjects in English.

Everything you said is really funny to me because it's so right. You took the words out of my mouth.

I visit Jordan EVERY year, and no matter how many times I visit, some things never change. People ask me the same questions about how I wear the hijab in America or how I talk arabic so well or how I know how to pray 5 times a day and etc. I don't blame them of course, because no matter what no one will know unless they live here AND there. But, my point is, I'm thankful that I got to live the best of both worlds. I have the American mentality while still holding onto my Arab culture and faith.

What sometimes really bothers me is how I feel more comfortable wearing my hijab then in Jordan. Sometimes, when I'm in an expensive store in Mecca Mall or any place in Amman, I get looked at with these condescending looks. It saddens me.

But yeah, have fun here and trust me, it'll be an amazing experience.

Your daughter will be as Arab as you want her,as long as you put the effort.


I still eat Mansaf every month here. :)

Dino$ said...

jana :) mashala 3alieki. you know not much people are as lucky as you are and are capable of gettin the best of both worlds! where are you in the states. i would like to get to know you some more because i love meeting ppl like you and learning from thier experiences living here in the states :) its good to know what you did right!

wow that is a lot of mansaf u get! :P i hardly have mansaf even in the middle east. its usually in amman wa bas!

thanks for the comment!

Anonymous said...

It is a lie.