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About Identity

   About Identity

Reflective discussion questions

1. Why doesn’t Kais identify himself as an Arab American?

Possible answer: He is proud of his Yemeni descent and sees himself as a Yemeni American.

2. Why does Ali identify himself as a Muslim American?

Possible answer: He feels that the term Muslim American is more universal and covers everything with which he identifies--Muslim, Yemeni, Arab, and American.

3. What positive things does Rakan believe exist in American culture and Arab culture?

Possible answers: American culture provides ample opportunities for people to succeed.   Arab culture emphasizes the need to constantly do better at whatever you endeavor to do.

4. How does Rakan react to the media reports about Arab or Muslim Americans?

Possible answers: He is sad when he hears of Muslims doing bad things. He is proud when he learns of Muslim successes.

5. Do you perceive the Yemeni American youths as a minority group or just as Americans and a part of our cultural mosaic?

Comparative discussion question and activities

1. In one paragraph describe how you would identify yourself. Would you include your race and religion? Would you include your primary language? Do you identify with a region of the world or a particular nation? Explain.

2. Rakan believes that America is a nation of opportunity where everyone has a chance to succeed. Write a persuasive essay in which you take a position either agreeing or disagreeing with Rakan. Use examples from the news or from your life.

3. Give a short oral presentation in which you tell the story of how you felt when someone of your own ethnic group excelled. Who is that person, what did he or she do? How did you feel when you heard about their feats and accomplishments?

Methodology question

What do you think the interviewer asked the Yemeni American youths to get them to talk about their identity? Write two questions that could have been asked that led to the responses in the video. One of the questions should be open-ended (a question with no specific answer.) What would you ask them in order to get information not presented in the video?

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