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Constructing the collective experience of being Arab American in post-9/11 America




Mufdi, Jamillah L., author
Banning, James, advisor
Dickmann, Ellyn, committee member
Timpson, William, committee member
Bubar, Roe, committee member

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The events of September 11, 2001 dramatically changed the lives of Arab Americans. Some lost loved ones in the attacks while others, Arab Americans, became targets of discrimination and differential treatment because they had names and faces similar to the hijackers or they shared the same religion. Arab Americans defended themselves against accusations of being sympathetic to the hijackers and experienced treatment that indicated Arab citizens were not completely American. Like all Americans, those of Arab descent experienced fear, anger and grief in response to the attacks. Unlike other Americans, Arab Americans experienced fear that blame for the attacks would be place on them and shame that other Arabs committed such atrocities. America came together after the attacks and united as a people. Unfortunately, this unification process seemed to exclude Arab and Muslim Americans. Reports of hate crimes, discrimination and differential treatment climbed sharply and public opinion of Arabs declined steadily. This study examined the experience of navigating post-9/11 America as an Arab American. Findings confirmed that Arab Americans experience differential treatment on a regular basis and that there are commonalities in how the othering occurs. A collective story of the Arab American experience in post-9/11 America was constructed. The findings affirm existing studies regarding the collective experience and treatment of non-dominant groups who exist in America's margins.


2012 Summer.
Includes bibliographical references.

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Arab American


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