I say Arab, Arabic or Arabian?
Arab is a noun for a person, and is used as an adjective, as in "Arab
country." Arabic is the name of the language and generally is not used
as an adjective. Arabian is an adjective that refers to Saudi Arabia, the
Arabian Peninsula, or as in Arabian horse. When ethnicity or nationality are
relevant, it is more precise and accurate to specify the country by using
Lebanese, Yemeni or whatever is appropriate. We suggest that you hyphenate
when using Arab-American as an adjective, as in Arab-American issues, but do
not hyphenate when saying that someone is an Arab American.
Arab American, or American Arab preferred?
Arab American but, again, if you can be more specific, do so.
should I refer to an Arab-American individual?
Preferably by the country that person is from, for example, "of
Lebanese heritage," or "of Jordanian descent," but only if
ethnicity is relevant. Remember that Arab Americans come from many places,
and you should include the relevant perspective. If the story is about an
issue that affects Yemenis, for example, don't treat other Arabic
perspectives as interchangeable.
if the story is about Arab Americans whose ethnicity is not relevant to the
Then there is no need to identify their ethnicity. It is important to
include Arab Americans even when the story is about issues unrelated to
heritage or culture. Arab Americans are teachers, lawyers, grocers,
executives and students. Their views are important to many stories. If
journalists confine Arab Americans to stories about Arab issues, other
facets of their experience are ignored and the overall portrayal is
does Mohammedanism mean?
Do not use Mohammedan and its derivatives. Instead, use Islam for the
religion, Muslim for a follower of the religion and derivatives of these
it Muslim or Moslem?
is a sheik?
A sheik can be the leader of a family, a village, a tribe or a mosque. Press
accounts popularized the term "oil-rich sheik." This contributed
to the misconception that the people who became wealthy from oil were
sheiks, and that sheiks had oil money. Neither is true.
Contents :: Overview
:: Origins :: Language
:: Demographics :: Family
Religion :: Politics
:: Terminology :: Stereotypes :: Coverage
:: Resources :: Credits
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