Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Journal Entry Two Omar Shehadeh

            Hello everybody my name is Omar Shehadeh. I am currently attending campus at Marion as well as Columbus. I live in Lewis Center so I do a lot of driving which seems to exhaust me at times. As of this moment I am a Political Science major with a focus on Pre-medical. I am hoping to become a doctor but if for whatever reason that does not work out I will instead try to become a lawyer which is why I figured Political Science is the perfect major for myself. Exploring new places has always excited me, which is exactly why I would go to Greenland. It is a massive place with mountains that scale higher than I can imagine and conversely gorges deeper than I have ever seen. Just standing at the foot of a snow capped mountain while facing giant open fields and a clear blue sky sounds breath taking to me and I would be euphoric to wake up to that every morning.

           The theme that everyone is different and sometimes these differences can cause someone to be excluded or even discriminated against stood out to me the most while reading this chapter. This is important because most people are un-aware of these issues unless they are a part of a minority race and are directly exposed to it themselves. I believe Randi even commented to me that she was never aware of the discrimination Arabs faced until after she read the first narrative in this chapter. This theme is important to me as I experienced the exact same kind of prejudice that Sarah faced in They've Got To Be Taught Carefully. I've lost track of the number of times i've been referenced to as a terrorist or explicitly called a terrorist, whether jokingly or maliciously. While it might seem like a joke to some people, when you're the subject of the joke their is nothing funny about it.

            I personally believe the best way to learn about culture is to experience it first hand. Your culture is derived from wherever you are born and wherever your parents are from. So naturally as a first generation American, I have developed my own culture. But to better understand where my family is from I have studied my Arab culture heavily in the past and many of my mannerisms are derived from this but the majority of my culture at this point in my life is heavily Americanized as this is what I have experienced my entire life.


  1. Omar, I know from knowing you in the past that this is a big part of your experience to have to deal with "guilty by association" and all sorts of assumptions just tacked onto your life. I"m sorry to say this is the way the world is in many cases, and I just encourage you to keep strong, and keep being open. I admire that about you; you'll say it like you see it,but you also show people respect. If we can all do this more, we can build much better relationships, and we'll actually have a CHANCE for relationships, and to all work together for goals that are beyond our personal identities, which is something I strongly believe we all need. Thanks for posting!

  2. Something that I have started to realize, is that we can often make people feel excluded without intending to, and your post made me realize a situation where that can happen. A good friend of mine is the child of a Puerto Rican immigrant, and throughout high school, I can remember several instances of people calling him Mexican, or making a joke about him being Latino. While I am sure that most of these situations were either a result of the other person simply not being aware of his heritage, or just friendly teasing, I know that he was annoyed when people would act as though he was somehow different from anyone else. Your situation is different from that in some ways, but at the root of it is still the complete misunderstanding of culture that makes it difficult for people to realize that people can appear to be different from you, while still being nearly identical culturally. It bothers me that someone can be completely well meaning, but still make someone else feel as though they are being singled out for their differences, and I wish that there was some way that people's cultures could be appreciated, without them becoming the single defining characteristic about a person, which is how it often seems people see it as.


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