A girl this morning asked me by email about living a double life in an Arabic culture. The cause and reasoning of why this thing is quite common within Arab societies. Especially for us that live here in the western world. I will explain my point of view. Living a double life in a very conservative culture is like trying to mimic the movie Catch Me if You Can. In this case we are trying so hard to do things that are wrong, perfecting what is wrong, and escaping the end result for years and years. On the down side, many of us get caught. The reason why we live a double life is because many of us are tired of living this closed minded conservative life that is controlled by our elders. They do not understand why we are “rebelling” and are always angry. We cannot confront them with the truth of our actions and the life we want to live. To them it is not acceptable in any way. They cannot fathom the idea for us to be more liberated and free thinking individuals because to them it is not the “Arabic” way of living. The close family ties within the Arabic culture is the reason for this problem. In the Arab world a family is very close and your business is everyone else’s business. Even the neighbors know your life.
So our generation, mostly generation X and Y are more subject to world globalization. Where access to various cultures is only a click away by either TV or the world wide web. This caused us to be very aware and open to our surroundings. Some of us know that our very conservative culture does not allow us to do 1% of the things that are going around in the western world. However, we seem to want to experience life and are easily effected by our surroundings. From the schools we went to, to the Universities/Colleges and work. We we forced to adapt because this is what this culture has made us do. Try to explain that to our elders. You cannot. They don’t understand why we have to adapt and change in order to be like others to be accepted. It is completely absurd and to them we are becoming corrupted.
I know quite a few Arabs here that have taken their children or young adolescent sons/daughters back to the Arab world to make sure they are not effected by the westernized way of thinking. Some unfortunately had to return back because it seems that the Arab world in various countries has changed as well and maybe worse than here. It has become part of this global village. It is not really ethics or morals that our generation is lacking. On the contrary, we are just more open to life and want to live in an open minded society where our actions are not questioned.
Unfortunetly, we are not able to convince our elders with such a change in mentality. So we resort to living this double life. We live almost another life because of them. The problem with this other life that we try so hard to not get caught. It becomes second nature and we know “all the ways” to not get caught. We even avoid other people our age group that have parents that are friends or even know our parents. Gossip is another life’s hard fact that we have to face. Since Arab culture is so conservative and everyone knows everyone else, trying to avoid such situations is quite cumbersome.
I remember one time when this one girl saw me with my EX and I tried so hard to run away before she saw us together. She saw us though but I guess keeping her mouth shut and realizing that she is not any better was best at that situation. There are also the parties and gatherings and “wrong” things we have done in our lives that is merely a small adventure to us, but a crime in our elder’s eyes.
According to our culture, we have committed so many sinful and unspeakable actions. What can we do? Who are we to satisfy? Our selves or our culture?
Updated @ 5:43 PM: From the comments you can see that there are many closed minded Arabs who just love to make assumptions of others. He also kept posting comments and calling me a young slut and he wants me to continue discussing things with him. People just love to argue at other people’s sites because they don’t have a life. I feel sorry for their backwards mentality and their closed minded thoughts.ï¿½