Arab American Female Voices at GSU Recap

The “Arab American Female Voices at GSU” event took place on April 6th. We sat down with Emily Zanieski, President of Model Arab League, after the event to ask follow-up questions. Here is a glimpse of the brief interview.

In honor of Arab American Heritage Month, Arab American students spoke about their experiences and challenges. One of the challenges that may occur is being able to stay connected to the Arab heritage. According to Emily, “The women on the panel did not find it hard to connect back to their Arab heritage based on how they were raised. There is not a big disconnect to it.”

At the event, the students were asked, “How does being Arab American shape their self-image as a woman?” Emily recalled that, “being Arab helps in a pride sense, help shape their identity as women, and challenge their stereotypes of what other Americans think of Arab American women or about the culture. It empowered them in that sense.”

To balance their identities as Arab American women, the women related it to politics and moral values. Due to Donald Trump’s Muslim ban, it was hard for some to see a community they grew up with support the policy based on what they perceived Arab people to be like. It can be difficult to balance their identity politically. They would like people to see them as American. They would like non-Arabs to know that Arab people are not a monolith. There is diversity within the Arab community.