Describe the cultural background and heritage of Arab Americans and Asian Americans . Why is it important for human services providers to understand the cultural background and heritage of diverse populations? Please post at least one YouTube video link that further highlights your chosen group(s) heritage.

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America is a diverse mix of different cultures, ethnicities, religions, traditions, and nationalities from almost all regions of the world. Arab Americans and Asian Americans are just two of the many ethnic groups that comprise the United States. Arab Americans and Asian Americans come from various countries; they have separate...

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America is a diverse mix of different cultures, ethnicities, religions, traditions, and nationalities from almost all regions of the world. Arab Americans and Asian Americans are just two of the many ethnic groups that comprise the United States. Arab Americans and Asian Americans come from various countries; they have separate customs, traditions, and beliefs; they work different jobs, they have different educational backgrounds, and they contribute to society in a variety of fields. However, despite their differences, both Arab Americans and Asian Americans share their own cultural background and heritage.

The first Arab Americans came to the United States between 1880 and 1925. In more recent years, Arab Americans immigrated to the US mainly due to the bad or under-developed socio-economic and political climates of their respected countries of origin. Arab Americans trace their roots and their ancestry to the Arab countries from North Africa to West Asia: Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Somalia, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. According to recent statistics, nearly 3.7 million people in America can trace their origin to the Arab World.

The earliest Asian Americans came to the United States between 1882 and 1935. The first Asian Americans were mostly young men who were recruited as contract laborers, back in 1850s. Essentially, the first generations of Asian Americans have come to the US to find better work opportunities and provide for their families back in their home countries. During the WWII period they faced a lot of racism and discrimination, especially Japanese Americans, because of their country’s involvement in the Second World War. After 1965, Asian Americans have immigrated to the US for the same reasons as the Arab Americans. Asian Americans trace their roots and their ancestry to East Asia: China, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, and Tibet; South Asia: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka; and Southeast Asia: Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. According to recent statistics, nearly 23 million people can trace their origin to East and Southeast Asia, and the Indian subcontinent.

The first generation of Arab Americans practiced Christianity as their main religion, and a small percentage were Muslims. Even though, in recent years, the number of Muslim Arab Americans (Sunni and Shia), and Arab Americans who practice Judaism, Bahaism, Druze, or no religion at all, has increased, the majority of the Arab American population continue to be Christian (Roman Catholicism, Orthodox, and Protestantism).

The Asian American population also practices several religions; however, they are also predominantly Christian. The next biggest percentage is unaffiliated Asian Americans, then Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh. Arab Americans speak four main languages: Arab, English, French, and Spanish. Asian American speak their native languages, English, and Spanish. The country with the most Arab and Asian Americans in the United States is California.

You can find detailed information and statistics about Arab and Asian Americans’ education and economic position here and here.

Culture is an important element of both Arab and Asian Americans. For Arab Americans, the most important socio-economic notion and institution is family. The first generation of Arab Americans lived and worked in America so that they could provide better living conditions for their families back in their home countries. They honor all family gatherings and national holidays, in which food plays a very important role as well. Arabian cuisine has been naturally influenced by the climate and the trading possibilities, and it is very rich in spices and herbs. Arab Americans also take great pride in their generous hospitality. Arabian music and fashion have also greatly influenced many famous artists in the entertainment industry and the fashion industry alike.

For Asian Americans, honor and family are the most important socio-economic notions. It is admirable when children bring honor to their families and show respect to their elders. Similarly to the Arab Americans, the first Asian Americans came to the US to work and provide for their families. It was after 1965 that Asian Americans were finally allowed to move to the US as a family unit. Asian cuisine is considered one of the most unique cuisines in the world, in which the most common ingredients include rice, ginger, garlic, sesame seeds, curry, chilies, dried onions, soy, and tofu. Asian fashion is widely respected and appreciated for its specific and distinctive style. Also, Asian Americans working as actors, musicians or similar professions, have been fighting for more Asian representation in the entertainment industry.

It is important for human services providers to understand the cultural background and heritage of diverse populations in order to provide the best living and working conditions, not just for Arab and Asian Americans, but for all different ethnic and cultural groups that live in the United States. They must have various programs and agendas designed to help and protect the rights and the identity of all diverse ethnicities in America, so that they can ensure that the minorities will have equal opportunities in education and employment, and access to other privileges of public life.

The following links are of several YouTube videos I’ve managed to find, that will give you additional information and details on life as a different ethnicity in America. You can see how it’s like to be an Arab American in the US here and here. You can see how it’s like living as an Asian American in the US here and here.

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