All Academic, Inc. Research Logo

Info/CitationFAQResearchAll Academic Inc.
Document

El-Ghorba: A Media Ethnography of Transnationalism among Arab Immigrant Families in Canada
Unformatted Document Text:  characteristics they believed made them Canadian. There was a wide array of responses, but overwhelmingly they all constituted a construction of the ‘other’. The part of me that is Canadian is the part that distorted my set ideas when I came here. Anything that widens my perspective of things is the Canadian effect on me. Some made statements as definitive as: “Canadian to me is being white and Christian. I can’t be either so I can never be Canadian.” Others explicated their feelings in greater depth and explained what they thought the very term Canadian meant. Some stated that anything that disrupts the status quo (namely the Arab identity) is Canadian. The opposite works in favor of the few Arab Christian families that have migrated to Halifax as well. Mary, whose parent own an oriental carpet shop in the local mall, explained that her connection to Canada is one of commonality more than difference; “Being Canadian is being open to new things and all could be alright. I identify with Canada mainly because of my religion. I am a Christian and so are most of the people here.” Others cited more ideological notions that they felt were absent in their definitions of Arab-ness. To these, the fundamentals of Canadiana were built on the premise of freedom and democractic choice, elements that they did not attribute to their own culture. Being Canadian is being who I am and doing what I like doing without worrying. I define my own freedom, making my own choices which is a luxury. For some the lines are not as clear-cut, but are instead blurred by continuous trespassing. The distinctions between Arab and American, east and west are too opaque to be definitive. Instead, they see Canadian identity as an intersection between the two, whether they can afford to be both and/or neither. The way I see the west and the east is not necessarily Arab and definitely not American. Canada in its paradigm fits my world. More than any other explanations of Canadiana, many of the informants talked about the subtleties of daily life as a function of identity. For some it was the consumerism of appearance and clothing, for others it was the leisure time one has to play a sport, notably hockey or skiing. To me being Canadian is working all the time and working hard. Being able to take on a responsibility at such an early age, that’s not something that we have to deal with back home. Bridging to the Homeland Whether it is the Hakims, Atefs or Anousheilas, the crisis of identity seems to revolve around the notion of homeland. The very word home (ard in Arabic meaning land) is one that each of the informants uses frequently to describe their sense of intimate connection to a spatial yet virtual entity. For some this ard is a defined country, Egypt or Palestine, and for others it’s more diffuse, like the Arab world, a Muslim country or even the east. The single commonality in

Authors: Iskandar Farag, Adel.
first   previous   Page 13 of 19   next   last



background image
characteristics they believed made them Canadian. There was a wide array of responses, but
overwhelmingly they all constituted a construction of the ‘other’.
The part of me that is Canadian is the part that distorted my set ideas when I came here.
Anything that widens my perspective of things is the Canadian effect on me.
Some made statements as definitive as: “Canadian to me is being white and Christian. I
can’t be either so I can never be Canadian.” Others explicated their feelings in greater depth and
explained what they thought the very term Canadian meant. Some stated that anything that
disrupts the status quo (namely the Arab identity) is Canadian. The opposite works in favor of
the few Arab Christian families that have migrated to Halifax as well. Mary, whose parent own
an oriental carpet shop in the local mall, explained that her connection to Canada is one of
commonality more than difference; “Being Canadian is being open to new things and all could
be alright. I identify with Canada mainly because of my religion. I am a Christian and so are
most of the people here.”
Others cited more ideological notions that they felt were absent in their definitions of
Arab-ness. To these, the fundamentals of Canadiana were built on the premise of freedom and
democractic choice, elements that they did not attribute to their own culture.

Being Canadian is being who I am and doing what I like doing without worrying. I define my
own freedom, making my own choices which is a luxury.
For some the lines are not as clear-cut, but are instead blurred by continuous trespassing.
The distinctions between Arab and American, east and west are too opaque to be definitive.
Instead, they see Canadian identity as an intersection between the two, whether they can afford
to be both and/or neither.

The way I see the west and the east is not necessarily Arab and definitely not American. Canada
in its paradigm fits my world.
More than any other explanations of Canadiana, many of the informants talked about the
subtleties of daily life as a function of identity. For some it was the consumerism of appearance
and clothing, for others it was the leisure time one has to play a sport, notably hockey or skiing.

To me being Canadian is working all the time and working hard. Being able to take on a
responsibility at such an early age, that’s not something that we have to deal with back home.

Bridging to the Homeland
Whether it is the Hakims, Atefs or Anousheilas, the crisis of identity seems to revolve
around the notion of homeland. The very word home (ard in Arabic meaning land) is one that
each of the informants uses frequently to describe their sense of intimate connection to a spatial
yet virtual entity. For some this ard is a defined country, Egypt or Palestine, and for others it’s
more diffuse, like the Arab world, a Muslim country or even the east. The single commonality in


Convention
All Academic Convention is the premier solution for your association's abstract management solutions needs.
Submission - Custom fields, multiple submission types, tracks, audio visual, multiple upload formats, automatic conversion to pdf.
Review - Peer Review, Bulk reviewer assignment, bulk emails, ranking, z-score statistics, and multiple worksheets!
Reports - Many standard and custom reports generated while you wait. Print programs with participant indexes, event grids, and more!
Scheduling - Flexible and convenient grid scheduling within rooms and buildings. Conflict checking and advanced filtering.
Communication - Bulk email tools to help your administrators send reminders and responses. Use form letters, a message center, and much more!
Management - Search tools, duplicate people management, editing tools, submission transfers, many tools to manage a variety of conference management headaches!
Click here for more information.

first   previous   Page 13 of 19   next   last

©2012 All Academic, Inc.