Forgive but Never Forget: The Experiences of an Arabic American

Posted on October 20, 2011

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As the daunting date of 9/11 quickly approached, so did the tragic memories. With the vivid descriptions of terrorist attacks being a decade ago, Arab Americans are continuing to suffer throughout life in America, being targeted by the media, politics, and other Americans. This particular cultural group has tried to overcome the obstacles of social acceptance since 9/11. I recently spoke with a Arab American by the name Ahmad Amil, as we conducted this interview via Skype and Facebook, Ahmad revealed that America has justifiably made his people outcasts in society. I posed this question to him: What are you views on how Arabic Americans are treated post 9/11? He abruptly responded with, “We were attacked in all forms; media, legally, our rights and sometimes even physically.” He goes on to say, “Since September 11, there has been violence and incitement at a higher rate towards the Muslim community.

photo by: Islamizationwatch.blogspot.com
Arabic American Women displaying patriotism against terriorist acts.

“As he talks openly about his experience I can see the passion behind his eyes when he says “We have become the target for all terrorist references, and I do not believe it is fair at all, political candidates talk freely about Islam and Muslims as if we are Nazis or any other social danger.”

I quickly nodded as I could only image the struggles of this particular ethnic group in America. As African-Americans once were the target of racism, prejudices and other negative connotations, Arabic Americans has began to take the heed of the hatred.

Being in Europe during the 9/11 tenth year anniversary Ahmad expresses his gratitude for not experiencing what some of his friends and family had went through this past weekend. He closes with saying, “September 11, was horrible, but we don’t focus on it heavily as Arab/Muslim Americans, it put a blemish on us all. In my country we have been slaughtered worst than this but it does not get any attention…The whole world changed after 9/11.”

As I end the interview with Ahmad, I noticed that he has open up my eyes to a new light. I can relate to the racism he faces on a daily basis being an African-American man. Being also on the high threat watch I know how it feels to be the target of people’s skepticism. As Americans, we should be able to embrace the differences of one another not blacklist those who are different from the majority. Lets work on that people…Embrace diversity.

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