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Journal Entry of an Arab American

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Journal Entry of an Arab American

Journal Entry 9/11/2002

Well it has been five years since the attacks on the United States and things are still hard for my Arab American family. At work today I was called a terrorist; they have been whispering it for almost a year now. I went to McDonald’s for lunch and no one seemed to want to take my order. It has been hard since my family moved out here to Bloomfield Hills, Michigan from the Detroit area.

When we first moved here from Bagdad, 15 years ago, my family just wanted to escape Islamic persecution in the Arab world. They come for the freedom America affords. They come for opportunity. But most of all they come for a life away from the brutal reality of Islamo-fascism, which dominates the Arab nations. (Farah, 2003) My uncle moved here first and then sponsored his older brother. After they were settled they sponsored my family; they are my mother’s brothers. We in turn sponsored my mom’s other sister and her family. Moving into the 7 Mile and Woodward area was not as hard, most every one there was from Iraq also. We tried to have that area renamed Little Bagdad, but were shot down by the local government. Most of us in the area were Christian and we worked hard to provide for our families. We kept our homes clean and our yard cut.

When my dad’s party store’s started to turn a profit we sold our house to another Arab family moving here and we bought a big house out here in Bloomfield Hills. There are a few other Arab Americans in our neighborhood who are also struggling with the stereotype because of the Al-Qaida and Saddam Hussein. I wish they would realize that we are not all like that. Until 911 we all lived a quiet and peaceful life out here. Then all hell broke loose.

I remember the day the attacks happened, it was horrible. So many people of all race, nationality, and faiths died that day; who was not affected? My entire family is proud to live in America, and all except my youngest brother has become a naturalized American citizen, he is only 17. My oldest brother, who works in an office, received a phone call, “Jim you towelhead, all Arabs must die!” My oldest sister and second oldest brother are in college and received threatening phone calls, including a death threat to my brother. (Zogby, 2001). My father also had treats at his store, two of which were bomb treats. During the next few weeks we watched as some of our regular customers walked into the store across the street, this really hurt my father’s feelings, not to mention his business.

Over the first year our house was vandalized with graffiti of “Camel Jockeys Go Home” or “Death to the Arabs”. We found out how wonderful our neighbors are that year; they all came over to help us scrub it off every time. They truly embraced us and made us feel that no matter what we were a part of the community. My father has always sponsored several youth



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