89. Are Arabs oil-rich?
Some are, most aren't. The area around the Persian Gulf is one of several oil-producing areas in the world, but not all Arab countries produce oil, and very few Arabs are rich from oil.

90. Are Arabs mostly a nomadic people?
No. Most live in urban areas, but portrayals of Arabs as desert dwellers have distorted the picture. Bedouins, nomadic people depicted in movies, make up only about 2 percent of Arab people. One of the largest Arab cities is Cairo, with a population of more than 6 million.

91. Do Arabs come from the desert?
Most do not. To begin with, most Arabs live in cities. Secondly, Arab countries have a range of climates. Many have coastal areas and some have mountainous areas that get snow. Arab people come from a variety of latitudes that extend from as far south as just below the equator to as far north as approximately Lexington, Ky.

92. Are Arabs frequently involved in terrorism?
No more so than other groups of people. Many types of people have committed acts of terror. However, news accounts seem to more often stress Arab connections than they do for terrorism committed by other groups. In addition, there have been highly publicized cases when Arabs were singled out, early on and erroneously, as suspects. The Oklahoma City federal building bombing in 1995 was one such case.

93. What is meant by the phrase "Islamic fundamentalist"?
This is complex. The term fundamentalist, whether applied to Muslims or Christians, is a largely American construct that has been used to imply politically conservatism and, sometimes, extremism. The term "Islamic fundamentalist" has been used to refer to people who use Islam to justify political actions. This has blurred the distinction between religion and politics. Because of this, acts carried out for political reasons are sometimes attributed to religion. Fairness and accuracy mean attributing political actions to the group, government or party responsible, and not to a religion, which may have millions of followers around the world. Avoid constructions like "Muslim bomb."

94. Is Islam a violent religion?
The Quran teaches nonviolence. Throughout history, political groups and leaders have used Islam and other religions to justify many things, including violence

95. Are Arab-American women subservient to men?
No sweeping statement can reflect all the roles of Arab women. They range from leaders of matriarchal societies to independent businesswomen to extreme deference. Their roles are affected by their country of origin, whether they are from urban or rural areas, religion, degree of assimilation and, of course, their own, individual characteristics.

96. What is that charm with the eye or an eye on a hand?
Often worn as jewelry, the hamsa is a non-religious symbol for protection or good luck. The eye, usually blue when colored, wards off the evil eye or evil spirits. For example, the charm may be put on a baby to protect the child from harm. This cultural tradition is shared by many people of different religions.


Contents :: Overview :: Origins :: Language :: Demographics :: Family :: Customs

Religion :: Politics :: Terminology :: Stereotypes :: Coverage :: Resources :: Credits


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