How The Middle Eastern Culture Can Be Toxic

By: Rhonda Nemri

Now I know some people will take this to offense, and say “how could you say this?” Or that I am not prideful of my culture. If that’s your first instinct about this, then you’ve already proven my title. However, there are many ways in the Arab culture that people depend on because it is “safe”, and a better excuse for getting away with their hostile behavior. I will explain what “culture” does to people, and how it affects our society; mainly the Arab community. The list will predominately focus on the Arab/Middle Eastern Culture, but can relate to the general idea of culture.

1. Culture is established by a group of people’s norms, and their own perceptions of life, and something that usually sticks with them for a lifetime.
2. Culture brings people together, and creates traditions that can be passed on to generations.
3. Culture allows you to identify with a group/race.
4. Culture is something good, but when taken too far, it can actually create toxicity among family, friends, co-workers, etc.
5. Saying “this is how it is supposed to be” is based off of what someone created to be the norm. Therefore basing everything you do in your life a norm that you only live by because someone else told you this is how it is supposed to be.
6. Culture makes people become hostile towards those who do not fully abide or engage in cultural norms.
7. Culture puts a timeframe for when to be married, when to have children, and requirements on whom you should be with/shouldn’t be with.
8. Culture creates an identity crisis. Arab/Middle Eastern culture versus other cultures can cause one to conflict between being authentic versus being what someone else wants.
9. Culture creates a sense of fear for living authentically. The constant thought that people are monitoring your behavior, and being worried of what other people think of you.
10. Culture makes people believe that because specific norms have been around for so long, that they are correct or acceptable.
11. Culture has created strict tendencies and traditions that have been the cause for separating family units, or has hindered the quality of life.
12. Culture has repeatedly made women to be the lesser equal. Invoking certain lifestyles, do this and don’t do that, limiting career opportunities, etc. As well as creating standards for men to be and act a certain way to appear masculine.
13. Culture for Middle Easterners has been a reciprocated understanding between several religious faiths. (Examples: Christians/Catholics and Muslims). Thus prohibiting many ideas, and new values from different men and women.
14. Culture does not allow mistakes, because your reputation is a representation of your family, and is always accounted for. If you make mistakes, then the people in your family also live through repercussions. People then bad mouth, or speak badly about each other.
15. Culture makes religious people focus more on cultural values, than religious values. This can be detrimental for those who try to live through their religion as Godly-like beings.
16. Lastly, Culture would be something great if people allowed each other to live freely, and not have to live for other people.

Final thoughts:

If we would see the negativity of our culture and become more positive we would be happy individuals. Stop paying attention to other people, and grow as an individual. Making someone suffer because of what you think is right, does not make you right. It’s bad enough we have to live to see the Middle East falling apart because of control, power, and greed. So why do this to the people who you call your family, friend, acquaintance, or someone you vaguely know. Give each other a chance to live life, and a chance to know them before you let culture dictate your every move in your life. Culture is important to have, but not to make you hostile towards humans.

Painted Silhouettes

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By: Rhonda Nemri
Photograph Taken By: Rhonda Nemri

Colors changing into the mood.
Loud as the fire bursts with creation of realism.

Layered in black cloth as it resembles the feelings of mourn.

Stripping the darkness from its root, and bringing back life.

Shameful appearances of the painted silhouettes.

Once again it shall appear to be solid, but soft as the inner core of the bodies falls to the ground in grief.

Surrounded by the cold and warm structures that create no absolute.

But to signify once again the wretchedness of this long gone chapter.

Realizations of the Imagination

Pick me up, pick me up.
Pick me up off the ground that I have fallen to.
Pick me up from the hurt the ground has caused.
Pick me up from this strong pressure that pushed me.

Oh but the heart beats.
Beat Beat Beat..for I hear the beats,
slowly the beats fade away and becomes
an unfamiliar beat.
A different beat.
This sound isn’t the beat that kept the
mind, body and soul smooth

Became the wind that pushed me.
Pushed me down, down to the ground
where no one will pick me up.

In the imagination can be a beautiful world
but reality has been painted into the picture never longed for
becoming the one in memory who will be thought
as the sword who directed at the beat.

The sword that shredded the pieces of
the flower that bloomed.

The realizations of the actions of one
shall never be punished, but learned in a
way of forgiving the reasons behind this reality
that has cause the down, that has caused the unfamiliar beat,
that has caused the sword to be sharp, that causes the petals of the flower
to have fallen to the ground.

Poetry Category Coming to Feministtalk

Hi Everyone!

I have been writing for a while now, and I used to share my poetry all the time. I figured why not showcase some of my work here on my WordPress blog. Some of my poetry is a bit dated, but since I have been back into the creative writing motion, I want to continue inspiring through my words.
I will create a new category for Poetry. That way whenever you want to view my poetry specifically you can click on the category. Thank you for stopping by.

Rhonda ❤