I mean, the general term for the Middle East includes North Africa.
Are you asking if Egyptians are Arabs??? Or what????
Yo, this is so not okay!
To be quite honest, tell them that the comment is racist and makes you uncomfortable. You should be able to change your appearance without having to deal with “joking” comments from people.
I know calling people out is harder that it seems. But just grow your beard out anyway and if people say something to you, I would just joke back and be like “You yts just mad that you can’t grow this full and luscious beard.” (Cause let’s be real they can’t XOXO.) Hopefully, they back off once they realize their comments aren’t getting to you.
If they keep doing it, just be like “You guys are making me really uncomfortable with these comments. I shouldn’t have to be hit with racist, stereotypical comments every time I change my appearance.” Because that is so wrong for them to say that stuff to you, even as a joke. Then, if they don’t stop, just cut them crackers out of your life because that shit is not cute.
Also, I don’t know if you are Muslim or not. But if you are, a lot of guy friends I know would just tell them that part of their religion is growing a beard (which it is in many sects). That sometimes gets people to back off. (Sorry if you are not Muslim though! I just thought I’d share.)
I hope I helped a little. If other Arab/brown dudes have some advice on whipping yt people into shape when it comes to beards, message me!
P.S. I AM FULLY LEBANESE TOO! I never find more Lebanese people on here. Nice to meet you!
Hmmm. I never use that term because of its racist history.
But I will make sure we don’t use it again!
Text reads: i am a person of white and Native American descent, who has been raised in a culturally white household. i knew about our heritage, it is reflected in my name, but there were no direct connections with [tribe], mostly because my mom had stuff about her part-Native dad. my skin is very pale, and i have only a little “Native” appearance in me. i want to connect with my heritage but i am afraid that i’m not Native “enough” to claim it because i wasn’t raised with the culture.
First thing to remember is there is no “Enough.” You are or you aren’t. The problem can and often does arrive when a person looks into their heritage and finds things about their culture, one that they don’t have a direct link to and they make the very big and ugly mistake of “Playing a role.” This is often “Played” out through very ignorant stereotypes. People who portray hurtful and harmful images and then say, “It’s okay, I’m 1/16th such-and-such.” No, this is not okay. The main thing to remember is that it’s your heritage. As in, you want to be respectful of yourself, your family and the people within the culture you’re learning about.
With this, remember, when you start to learn, if you are able to speak to a Native person, you may very well come across someone who doesn’t really want to deal with you. If that happens, try not to take it personally. It’s not that they don’t think your Native “enough” it’s that, people like to “Play” at being Native. We’re talking about people. Not just any people but people who are extremely under represented, overlooked, belittled, made into caricatures and left to die, literally. I am 1/8th Cherokee and I don’t talk about that because I have zero connection to that portion of my heritage. Other than having my Grandmother’s fabulous cheek bones that is! (Oh yeah, I said it!) For me, it was my bone structure that allowed me access. I was told I looked the part, that they could tell by the way I looked that I was part Native. None the less, what I learned from the people who were kind enough to sit with me was more of a “Native history” not so much MY heritage. It’s important to note the difference.
Finding out more about your own heritage is a beautiful thing that everyone should be encouraged to do. Just, don’t let it turn you into an asshole.
I feel like this response about Native heritage from racismschool is really great and can apply to the many messages we get about whether someone is considered Arab or not (as well as all other message about identity and heritage too.)
Please read this!
I never said that they shouldn’t learn or practice their culture. On the contrary, in the F.A.Qs I specifically say that if you find out about Arab heritage then by all means, learn more about your ancestry, country, and culture, specifically from actual Arabs.
In the second part, I was talking about specifically identifying as Arab. I think it is a bit problematic when people discover that they their great grandparent or any other ancestor was part-Arab (or any ethnicity) and then automatically start identifying as that ethnicity. i.e. Like the many white girls I interact with that go “I am 1/10th Cherokee so yeah!” and then continue to appropriate and speak over people actually from that ethnicity. Learning about a culture your ancestors belonged to is a bit different than identifying as completely or partially as Arab.
Also, I will clarify that I did not mean mixed race people, Arabs adopted into non-Arab households or non-Arabs adopted into Arab households in that post. Those are very special circumstances that I have no right to speak about. How they practice their culture(s) and how they identify is a conversation only they can have.
I was specifically talking about many non-Arabs who may discover that they have distant Arab ancestry or who suddenly want to embrace Arab culture despite never being raised with it. I think that if for the most part, that person has not really experienced or been a part of Arab culture, suddenly identifying as “Arab” is a problem. Rather, they should simply learn about their heritage from family members actual Arabs and slowly become accustomed to that culture, without appropriating it or speaking over actual Arabs.
I hope this clarifies things.
Oh yes! I just re-read over it and totally forgot to include that non-Iranian Kurds also wear the keffyieh/cemedani. In my research, I was specifically looking at Iran and totally didn’t realize to include that non-Iranian Kurds also wear them. My bad! I will fix it ASAP.
And thank you about talking how the Kurdish keffiyeh/cemedani has become a symbol of Kurdish resistance. People need to realize that the keffiyeh comes in many different forms and has different meanings for different cultures. So, even though they might be similar, people should be wary not to appropriate the Kurdish cemedani either.
Thanks again for the message.
Again, I think this gets confusing because the term “Middle East” is confusing itself.
The Middle East, for the most part, refers to North Africa, the Levant, the Arab Peninsula, and parts of Central Asia. It is really a regional term. But obviously, there is a lot of overlap between various cultures and ethnic groups in the region.
But yes, I do think Arabs can appropriate Amazigh and other indigenous non-Arab cultures. And this is a major problem because it can reflect Arab supremacy and continued Arab imperialism inflicted on many non-Arab cultures. Many of which were forced to assimilate to parts of Arab culture throughout the years.
However, I will say that it is wrong to accuse other Middle Eastern people, i.e. Amazigh and other indigenous groups, are appropriation Arab culture. Because that again reflects Arab imperialism since those non-Arab cultures were forced to assimilate to Arab culture. So, I think Arabs should be careful when claiming Amazigh, Kurdish or any other indigenous group of appropriating Arab culture without recognizing their own privilege in the region.
But cultural appropriation can even happen between Arabs of different countries. For example, as a Lebanese person, my cultural customs are very different from say Moroccan, Algerian or Egyptian Arabs. If I suddenly adopted any of those countries’ traditional clothing or other customs, it would totally be appropriation.
So, yes cultural appropriation can happen within the same region and even from the same ethnic group in the Middle East. It is important for all individuals (Arab or otherwise) to remember that.
I will try to answer this the best I can.
The Middle East refers to a region, but the problem has come that the term has expanded so much to quite a ridiculous point. It does not just include the Arab world (i.e the Arab Peninsula), but also the Levant, Central Asia, and of course, North Africa. Most of the time the term “Middle Eastern” can refer anywhere from Morocco to Turkey to Afghanistan (and everything in between.)
So, really, any one from those countries can refer to themselves as Middle Eastern if they want to. Because the term has expanded to include such a wide array of countries. (Although I know many people, myself included, who are wary of the term because it really does attempt to lump many countries into one category despite the many differences.)
To answer you last question, yes someone can be Algerian, Arab and Middle Eastern! Those are all different identities in a way. Algerian is a nationality, Arab is an ethnic group, and Middle Eastern is really a regional identity.
Not all Middle Eastern people are Arabs and not all Arabs live in or identify as Middle Eastern. Like you said, many Amazigh in North Africa may still identify as being Middle Eastern. But that has nothing to do with their ethnic identity. They can be Moroccan, Amazigh and Middle Eastern. Again, the Middle East refers to a REGION that includes many different countries.
It can be confusing because of the relationship of Arab ethnicity with the region of the Middle East. But they are very different things, which is important to recognize. The Middle East is NOT monolithic. It is very diverse with various ethnicities, languages, cultures and identities that vary from country to country. Even Arab culture differs from country to country; for example, I am Lebanese and I find many differences between my culture and other Arabs from other countries.
When it comes to identity, especially with ethnic and regional ones in the Middle East, it can be different. So that is why it is important for people to understand their background and figure out what identities they are comfortable with.
I hope this helped.
BTW, umm you shouldn’t use “Berber” as it comes from barbarian, for those ppl you should say Amazigh (singular) or Imazighen (plural)
Wow. I am sorry, that was a big fuck up. I know the origins of the term, but have seen it used so many times that I totally forgot. I am truly sorry to all my Imazighen followers.
Thank you for the call out.
I will edit the post and not use the term anymore.