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Ethnicity Versus Nationality - Transcending Identity in a World that No Longer Cares

Reader comment on item: Arab American Women

Submitted by M Tovey (United States), Mar 3, 2022 at 12:21

Captured in the realms of darkened nights in the Middle East are the imaginations of countless adventurers, some that are princes seeking their princess brides, riding the night skies for those feminine fantasies that are almost out of reach for all but the most determined and ardent suitors of ancient times, now merely legends as it suits the fantasy. While there are stories of such feminine characters in worldwide admiration of the female realm of humanity, in the Middle Eastern cultures (Arab, Persian, being the more modern standouts), we find that in the mysterious pursuits of such, one stands out, Scheherazade. But the rumor is here a legend, not necessarily anything more than a narrative to preserve its mystique; truth not lending any greater validation of the fascination that the males have had over the centuries of chasing after the ideal companion in Middle Eastern folklore.
Being Persian in its reputation, legend does the Scheherazade diminish the equally mysterious presentations of the Arab (bedouin?) feminine mystique? Possibly, only in the sense that Scheherazade was described a royal within the confines of the protected status of those females who were inducted into the secret chambers does the mystique absorb those speculations of fantasies not revealed to outsiders in order to protect that which is reserved to the royal predilections.
But all of that is historical and does not comport well in the feminist manifestation of modern feminine aspects of the Arabic scene, where dependent upon topological surroundings, being able to express one's outwards aspect is sometimes compromised by a societal defensive posture in which protection of the person/personality is not distinguished by the individual, but by the societal setting in which they are apportioned.
In the Dr.'s assessment of the labelling of 'Arab American' persons, while there is the almost automatic assignment of a Muslim identity can be misleading, since there was historically Arabic female sectors that were Christian or other non-Muslim adherents of other religious persuasions that were compelled in certain situations to convert or face persecutions, much of which survives today.
Being Arab is still a legitimate ethnic identity that cannot be considered easily dismissed for the indeterminate religious identity, for demographically, are there not more non-Arab Muslims in the world than there are Arab Muslims. As for being called American; American is a nationality, not an ethnicity. One may repudiate being called American, but the DNA does not lie. Being Arab has its ancient Egyptian roots and that transcends the historical narrative, no matter the adopted nationality.

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