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El-Ghorba: A Media Ethnography of Transnationalism among Arab Immigrant Families in Canada
Unformatted Document Text:  This isolation is more obvious among the Abousheilas who have completely refrained for consuming any non-Arab media. Their son, Bashar, explains that his parents have reached a point in their lives where they think beliefs shouldn’t change and refuse to think otherwise. We were influenced much more by the (Canadian) media. They (our parents) are affected more by cultural things. They critique Canadian TV a lot. Moodi, the eldest son of the Hakims explains that while his parents have adapted somewhat to Canadian society, they cannot possibly lose their connection to their homeland, something he feels he and his siblings are prone to doing. My mother has adjusted just enough to get by, but she still tries very hard to keep her cultural and religious ideas. Even though she was quite active in the community, she was completely alone at home. Ever since she went her pilgrimage to Mecca, her social activities with Canadians have been much less. I think its because she feels she doesn’t need them anymore. TV is her new friend. Even amongst the siblings, there seems to be a generation trend that for assimilation. Older brothers are less likely to socialize with non-Arabs. The younger siblings seem to find both value and sense in befriending Canadians. On many occasions they described that they wanted to be more like the Canadians than the Arabs. The younger brother of the Atefs explains: All my friends are Canadian or not Arab and I don’t like socializing with Arabs because people my age who are Arab have a very different point of view about life. My older brother Ahmed is more sociable with Arabs. I find that Canadians are smarter in what they do and think. Watching Arab satellite TV specifically has a generational dimension. Most parents watch the Arabic language programs to stay in touch with the Arab world and to fulfill a yearning for connectivity to their homelands. My mom feels very far away from home, so she got the satellite to reinvigorate her life and her connection with God and home. On the other hand, many of the children watch it simply for the sake of nostalgia. More interestingly, some of them also watch it as a reaffirmation of their identity. An identity that they want to reinforce and be able to project. I often find myself looking for positives in the Arab world to show to Canadian friends. From a Canadian position, I subconsciously want to present it to Canadians. Arabic satellite TV & failure to adapt What seemed apparent in some situations was a rejectionist approach to identity among the children. Many of them could not relate to the values and ideas that underlie Arabic television and have branded it as a regressive force. Through that lens, many of these sons and

Authors: Iskandar Farag, Adel.
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This isolation is more obvious among the Abousheilas who have completely refrained for
consuming any non-Arab media. Their son, Bashar, explains that his parents have reached a
point in their lives where they think beliefs shouldn’t change and refuse to think otherwise.
We were influenced much more by the (Canadian) media. They (our parents) are affected more
by cultural things. They critique Canadian TV a lot.
Moodi, the eldest son of the Hakims explains that while his parents have adapted
somewhat to Canadian society, they cannot possibly lose their connection to their homeland,
something he feels he and his siblings are prone to doing.

My mother has adjusted just enough to get by, but she still tries very hard to keep her cultural
and religious ideas. Even though she was quite active in the community, she was completely
alone at home. Ever since she went her pilgrimage to Mecca, her social activities with
Canadians have been much less. I think its because she feels she doesn’t need them anymore. TV
is her new friend.
Even amongst the siblings, there seems to be a generation trend that for assimilation.
Older brothers are less likely to socialize with non-Arabs. The younger siblings seem to find both
value and sense in befriending Canadians. On many occasions they described that they wanted to
be more like the Canadians than the Arabs. The younger brother of the Atefs explains:

All my friends are Canadian or not Arab and I don’t like socializing with Arabs because people
my age who are Arab have a very different point of view about life. My older brother Ahmed is
more sociable with Arabs. I find that Canadians are smarter in what they do and think.
Watching Arab satellite TV specifically has a generational dimension. Most parents
watch the Arabic language programs to stay in touch with the Arab world and to fulfill a
yearning for connectivity to their homelands.

My mom feels very far away from home, so she got the satellite to reinvigorate her life and her
connection with God and home.
On the other hand, many of the children watch it simply for the sake of nostalgia. More
interestingly, some of them also watch it as a reaffirmation of their identity. An identity that they
want to reinforce and be able to project.

I often find myself looking for positives in the Arab world to show to Canadian friends. From a
Canadian position, I subconsciously want to present it to Canadians.
Arabic satellite TV & failure to adapt
What seemed apparent in some situations was a rejectionist approach to identity among
the children. Many of them could not relate to the values and ideas that underlie Arabic
television and have branded it as a regressive force. Through that lens, many of these sons and


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