Many Americans can think back to when President Obama was inaugurated. Many Americans became emotional as they watched from all over the nation. Some were bitter because their pick may have not won, but many were by far overwhelmed with emotion; tears of joy welled up in the eyes of the nation. It was a moment that would go down in history as our first African American President was inaugurated into office. Whether the majority are happy with the way things have turned out and continue to turn out while his stay in office, or not, many can not deny that this was a huge stride for the U.S. as a nation. Although this was a huge stride, some of Chicago’s Arab Americans as well as Arab Americans across the nation have wondered, “Can an Arab American be the next president?”
It was huge for an African American to be elected president and be inaugurated, but can there be an Arab American president? Of course, if he meets the requirements to become president then one can say he can become one. However, considering the voice of the people… This can be an entirely different situation. As some people may have mixed feelings about an Arab American president just yet. When asked on social media, Facebook user states, “No Arabs there not American. Obama was prime example only an American can run this country and since they know the laws best.” It seems the Facebook user seems to believe that Arab American’s aren’t “Real Americans” and that they wouldn’t know the laws best. She also had the strong belief that Obama is not an American. Although this may be one Facebook user, consider how many other non-Arab Americans may think like her in regards to Arab Americans. When asked, Arab American film director and producer Fahmi Farahat stated, “…For the Arab community, you are either not Muslim enough or not Christian enough; Or more American then Arab or more Arab then American. I asked around for many years and always had these different excuses. Rashad Aldabbagh is a person with amazing insight about that. He campaigned for many Arab Americans.” Farahat also goes on to say it’s mainly a lack of support for the Arab American community supporting its own. Farahat also mentioned of another politician not achieving her goal of being her district’s representative on the California State Assembly, due to lack of support was Ferial Masry.
The lack of support in the Arab American community is rather unfortunate. It seems to stem from thinking one will not accurately represent the community as they are “Not Arab Enough” as Farahat mentioned. It also seems to stem from just not wanting their neighbor, so to speak, to do better than themselves. Many however wonder if Arab Americans can put that aside to see this nation take another great stride when it comes to putting away such prejudice ways. Perhaps only time can tell of this. After all, the first African American president was elected in 2008 and there has yet to be a woman president.