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El-Ghorba: A Media Ethnography of Transnationalism among Arab Immigrant Families in Canada
Unformatted Document Text:  But what they do not recognize is that their daughters and sons live in a culture that demands them to change and they are being held accountable for their failure to accommodate. One informant states that his mother, “understands the reality but she rejects the culture.” Another argues that his parents are trying to raise him the same way they were raised.He further explains how this is contested by what they see on television. Certain things that they (parents) see on Canadian television are completely outrageous to them, such as sex with daughters, Sunday Night Sex Show. They are shocked by such shows. Even I couldn’t believe it when I first saw that on TV. That’s just not the way we do things. I’m so used to a system and it’s very hard for me to change. The resistance of change is so powerful in many of these families that they are willing to locate to not risk the ‘loss’ of culture and religion. Bandar’s family were extremely concerned when their two youngest daughters stopped speaking Arabic and were coming home with slang language they picked up at school. He explains how his family reacted to this: After going to school here, my sisters know nothing about our religion, culture, they don’t know how to pray. I used to come back home from school, go to their room and there would be 4 Canadian friends, two of them might be boys. My youngest sister speaks more and better English than I do. So my parents decided to go back to Kuwait and take them along so they can get into a public school there. They wanted them to learn about the culture and religion the same way me and my other sister did when we grew up there. What is Canadian? For the new generation of Canadians, the children whose parents chose to migrate to Canada, the burden of determining what the nature of Canadian-ness is, how, why and to what extent they should embrace, it is a heavy one. Moodi is one informant who seems to have little problems understanding his position vis- à-vis his heritage and his new identity. He admits he occasionally imitates what Canadians around him to not only for acceptance but also to fulfill his curiousity. In more ways than one, to the lay, Moodi could easily pass for anything besides Arab. I haven’t had any problems to do with society. I’m curious about how people live here. I want to live and be like them, the way they relate to life. Now I come back to Halifax after a trip, I feel like I’m coming home. His sense of connection to the city, its people and sensibilities makes him feel at home in Halifax. Many others people his age would disagree fervently. Bandar says he doesn’t feel Canadian at all. He feels like he lives in a land. Regardless of how whether feeling Canadian is false abstraction, I ventured to ask most of my informants what

Authors: Iskandar Farag, Adel.
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But what they do not recognize is that their daughters and sons live in a culture that
demands them to change and they are being held accountable for their failure to accommodate.
One informant states that his mother, “understands the reality but she rejects the
culture.” Another argues that his parents are trying to raise him the same way they were raised.
He further explains how this is contested by what they see on television.
Certain things that they (parents) see on Canadian television are completely outrageous to them,
such as sex with daughters, Sunday Night Sex Show. They are shocked by such shows. Even I
couldn’t believe it when I first saw that on TV. That’s just not the way we do things. I’m so used
to a system and it’s very hard for me to change.
The resistance of change is so powerful in many of these families that they are willing to
locate to not risk the ‘loss’ of culture and religion. Bandar’s family were extremely concerned
when their two youngest daughters stopped speaking Arabic and were coming home with slang
language they picked up at school. He explains how his family reacted to this:

After going to school here, my sisters know nothing about our religion, culture, they don’t know
how to pray. I used to come back home from school, go to their room and there would be 4
Canadian friends, two of them might be boys. My youngest sister speaks more and better English
than I do. So my parents decided to go back to Kuwait and take them along so they can get into a
public school there. They wanted them to learn about the culture and religion the same way me
and my other sister did when we grew up there.
What is Canadian?
For the new generation of Canadians, the children whose parents chose to migrate to
Canada, the burden of determining what the nature of Canadian-ness is, how, why and to what
extent they should embrace, it is a heavy one.
Moodi is one informant who seems to have little problems understanding his position vis-
à-vis his heritage and his new identity. He admits he occasionally imitates what Canadians
around him to not only for acceptance but also to fulfill his curiousity. In more ways than one, to
the lay, Moodi could easily pass for anything besides Arab.

I haven’t had any problems to do with society. I’m curious about how people live here. I want to
live and be like them, the way they relate to life. Now I come back to Halifax after a trip, I feel
like I’m coming home.
His sense of connection to the city, its people and sensibilities makes him feel at home in
Halifax. Many others people his age would disagree fervently.
Bandar says he doesn’t feel Canadian at all. He feels like he lives in a land. Regardless of
how whether feeling Canadian is false abstraction, I ventured to ask most of my informants what


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