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Arab Americans

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A website for K-12 educators featuring innovative resource on the culture, geography, history and religions of the Middle East, including essays, classroom activities, downloadable multimedia content and interactive Google Earth tours.


Interview with Nadine Naber

© 2002 NITLE

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In this interview Nadine Naber, a Professor of Anthropology at the American University in Cairo, discusses identity formation in 2nd generation immigrants in the Bay Area, as well as the makeup of the Arab Community in general. Among the issues discussed are the idealization of Arab culture on the part of parents and the effect this on the second generation born in the United States, differing gender expectations with regard to the preservation of Arab culture, the degree to which constructions of identity are a response to popular conceptions of Arab identity in the United States culture as a whole, the relationship between the issues faced by Arab-Americans and other minority groups, the development of Arab-American feminism, the attraction of life in America to immigrants form the region and the degree to which Arab identity crosses sectarian lines. She also addresses the degree to which these perceptions have changed over time and in response to historical events. Finally she addresses the construction of a binary opposition between Arab and American culture, critiquing it as a false dichotomy that disguises political issues. This wide ranging interview, based on two years of field work, will give you a very clear sense of many of the issues faced by the children of immigrants in crafting their identity as both Arabs and as Americans.

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