For my capstone project, I wanted to understand why the stereotype of Arab-Americans working simple jobs came to be. I researched the different waves of immigration from the middle east, but the part that I most wanted to show was the stories behind the stereotype.
Introduction: This essay investigates the question are immigrants really that different? I use two of the book which I have read to answer this question. I also mention the medias role in influencing this question. I conclude that if we get rid of the labels, there are little to no differences.
Whenever most people hear the word immigrant their mind automatically thinks of people very different from them. The media can often create labels of immigrants as being dangerous, thief-like, label them as illegals. Americans don’t like to be called dangerous or thief-like and Americans often view them as the “other” people that are so different than us that they can’t even fit in the American-culture. As I have read the stories of immigrants throughout the last couple months is that there are a lot less differences than we might think. Not only are morals the same but also the everyday quirks are the same.
The book Behold the Dreamers 1 follows the story of Jende, a Cameroonian immigrant who becomes a driver for Clark, a partner at Lehman and brothers. From the beginning of the book, it seems like there are a lot of differences between them. Jende is of the lower class making only $35,000 from Clark a year. It never says Clark’s salary but he has both a house in the Hamptons as well as a huge apartment in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Jende has an apartment which houses four people, but has only one bedroom. Clark has an apartment so big that he needs multiple cooks, housekeepers, and maids to keep it together. As the book goes on, Jende and Clark become quite friendly with one another. They often have conversations while traveling from one location to another. One conversation they had was about Clark’s son Vince. Vince is a twenty-two year old who recently graduated from Columbia. After graduating, Clark made Vince go to NYU law school. But this isn’t what Vince wants, and he decided to drop out of law school. Jende hears about this and become very interested in this decision. He decides to talk to Clark about it. Jende asks Clark about what he thinks about this decision, and Clark is extremely disappointed he says that going to Law School will make you successful. This is the exact same way Jende reacted when he heard that Vince wanted to drop out. Jane’s cousin is a lawyer on wall street and is very successful, his dream for his child Liomi is for him to become a successful lawyer.
Even though Clark and Jende come from two very different worlds they can agree on two things: that they both want success for their children, and that becoming a lawyer is the way to do it. In this book, you hear both Clark and Jende’s opinion on how to be successful in the United States but you never hear if this is something which their children want. They both would rather take success over the happiness of their children. You constantly see this theme recurring in the book, hard work and success. One day, Jende’s wife Neni is called into Liomi’s school due to an education problem with Liomi. The teacher says that Liomi is distracted in school and that he distracts other students in his class, and this makes Neni extremely upset. As soon as they leave, she starts scolding Liomi, asking if he wants to have money in the future, asking if he wants to be successful in the future, all she wants for Liomi is for him to have a good life and she thinks that asking these questions is the way to push him into the right path. Just over the river this is exactly what Clark wants for his kids. In the book he is constantly seen having arguments over the phone and in person with Vince, asking if he wants to be successful in the future, if he wants to make a name for himself, if he wants to have a good life. When Jende and Clark first meet you would never think that these people from two completely different parts are similar, just when they start having conversations do you see that they have very similar morals.
People always focus on the differences between people from different countries. They look at the language, the mannerisms, the religion, but if people look past those things, they will find people who are just like us. Not only do these people have the same values as us but they live a very similar day to day life like us. In the book Exit West 2 there are two main characters named Saeed and Nadia. The book follows their life falling in (and out) of love, having to flee their country together, and ultimately their lives in new countries. In the beginning of the book we are introduced to both characters, first telling the story of Nadia, a young woman who lives alone and works at a marketing company. We also learn about how she grew up. “She had gone to a school that emphasized rote memorization, for which she was by temperament particular ill-suited, and so she spent a great deal of time doodling in the margins of her textbooks and notebooks. Hunched over the hide curlicues and miniature woodland universes from the eyes of her teachers.” pg 21 This is a quote which showed how Nadia was as a student, when reading this quote I realized that I knew so many people like Nadia. That her personality was also present in people around me. This quote really shows that these “foreigners” these people which we often view as other, are just like us. Their schooling is all about memorization and taking notes. That when these “foreigners” get bored in class they also doodle.
When disregarding language, religion, and place of birth we can view many similarities. These constructed differences which are influenced by hate are to just target a group and tell no truth. Jende and Clark have the same values and want the same for their children, Nadia is just like the kid doodling in their notebooks in the back of the class. Immigrants are different simply because every person is different, but if we remove the titles of Immigrants, Undocumented, and Illegals then the differences start to fade.
1Mbue, Imbolo. Behold the Dreamers: a Novel. Random House Inc, 2017. 2Hamid, Mohsin. Exit West. Penguin Random House, 2017.
Introduction: This essay explores the difference between a home and a house. I told the story of my family coming to the United States to find a new home, after fleeing a war-torn country. I used both scenes of memory and artwork description. I am proud of the amount of description and I hope to carry that for my future pieces of work.
I grew up in a home which was an escape from the bustling and rustling of Philadelphia. A home that always smelled of turmeric and cardamom. A place where we ate Manoushe for breakfast and washed it down with Hibiscus tea. A place where we would make a Lamb Ouzi for a celebration. Anytime there was the Lebanese Festival we would throw on our kaftan and play the Darbuka with Joey Tayoun. On our walls, we had art from the Hurriyah movement, and the blues of the Meditteranean were painted. One of my favorite piece of art is a photograph of a young girl kicking a soccer ball. The soccer ball is very rugged and not pumped up with air. She is wearing clothing that is too big for her, and her curly hair is wrapped up with a ribbon in a ponytail. You can’t see her face, just her tiny eight-year-old frame. The wall behind her is filled with trash and graffiti in an unknown language. She’s a Palestinian refugee playing in a refugee camp. A tent had become her new house, while her home was covered in bullet holes and crackling bricks. The home had always been very important for our family. Home didn’t just mean the place that you lived for a certain amount of time, that was a house. The home was the place where you felt yourself, a place of constant comfortability. We found the sense of feeling home always came when we were together, especially for my father and his siblings. My father and his siblings grew up in Beirut Lebanon. My father loved growing up in Lebanon. It was his paradise. It was a place where you can visit the white peaks of Mount Lebanon, learn the deep history of Byblos, and visit the beaches of Tyre. A place rich in culture and diversity, where you can see a mother covered head to toe in a niqab and her daughter right next to her in shorts and a t-shirt. He loved being with all his uncles, aunts, cousins, and grandparents. He never thought he would leave. One problem with Lebanon was that it never had a stable democracy. In 1975 a civil war broke out. After six months of seeing parts of Beirut crumble, my family left in search of a new safe home. They eventually came to King of Prussia a suburb outside of Philadelphia. They thought that this was a temporary move and that they would be able to go back home, but the civil war didn’t end for another fifteen years and they had to adapt to having America as their home. Right after college, my dad moved straight into Philly into a house in Society Hill. The first day that he moved in, a neighbor of his introduced himself. As they began to start talking he realized that this neighbor was Egyptian who grew up in Lebanon. He found someone that went through the same things as he did. He realized that it was very similar to Beirut a loud city where people honked as much as they talked, a place where people would yell at you instead of talk, and a place which had so much city pride. With the many years that he has spent in Philly, he found a place where he belonged. A place that he didn’t feel like an outsider. This was his new home, but his true and original home was still Beirut. One day I was looking at Airbnb, my dad came up to my room and asked to look for Airbnb in Beirut. I did a quick search and hundreds of apartments and homes came up. I clicked on one that had pictures of the sea which happened to be in a neighborhood called Mar Mikhael. We looked through the pictures and then I read the description for him. “This apartment is a 1950’s inspired apartment on a small street called Armenia, located in the beautiful Mar Mikhael neighborhood. Do you know where this is?” I asked. “ Our home was a block away from that street,” he replied with a smile. A moment passed and the smile stayed on his face, he was reminiscing on the memories from his life on Mar Mikhael. Just looking through the photos he made connections with every little thing. “ Under that apartment used to be the best Manoushe place.” “And we use to race our bikes over that street.” With just a few pictures he was able to give me a tour of his childhood home. He was able to answer any questions I had about his life before the United States. But most importantly, even if it was just for those few seconds he was able to feel at home again.
26 March 2019
Wall Street is an eight block area in New York City, which has made “New York the most powerful financial city in the world”, according to Huw Jones from Reuters.com. The influence of money and power in stock trading can make people become crooks. Some of the most influential banks in the world are controlled by few leaders, ending in these leaders having extreme amounts of power. In The Lord of The flies after a plane crash boys 7-12 are left on an island without any laws or parents. On the Island there is a battle over who has the ultimate power, ultimately leading in boys doing unethical actions to acquire the power. These two examples dementonstates how power corrupts people and makes people commit inhumane and unethical actions.
In 2008, a well known stock trader Bernie Madoff was caught for fraudulent, after years in being in the stock exchange world.“A well-respected financier, Madoff convinced thousands of investors to hand over their savings, falsely promising consistent profits in return.” He had made 65 billion dollars from his investors, most of that going into his own pocket. He would persuade people to give them their whole savings and then keep it for himself. In 2008 he was charged with 150 years in prison. A major reason why he was undetected for so long was because he was very respected and was a very powerful member of the financial world in New York. He helped launch the Nasdaq Stock Market which is the world's second largest stock exchange, because of this he was viewed as a leader and held major power. Knowing that he had so much power he committed illegal actions because he knew he would never get caught.
Jack was a leader of the boys at the end of the book, except for Ralph and Piggy. Ralph never wanted Jack to become Chief because he believed that he had committed savage actions. But Jack was willing to do anything to become chief, and even hurt other boys on the island.He threw a boulder which ended up impaling piggy. After Piggy’s death, Golding writes “ See? See? That what you’ll get! I meant that! There isn’t a tribe for you anymore! The conch is gone-I’m chief!”(181) Just like Madoff, Jack had committed an inhumane action and wasn’t seen any less of a leader to their followers. Jack didn’t feel any sorrow for Piggy because he had a rush from having so much power. Madoff and Jack are very similar in the degree that they were lead by the need of power. With that constant need in their heads they didn’t think their actions through which lead to destruction of people's lives.
Jordan Belfort the inspiration of Wolf of Wall Street shows the dynamic of power and the inhumane abilities it has on people. Jordan Belfort had a company called Stratton Oakmont that was worth just over 1 billion dollars. On Warrior Trading.com they write“Stratton Oakmont employed 1,000 traders who were responsible for issuing stocks that totaled over 1 billion dollars. These fraudulent actions cost investors millions of dollars.” The way they got so much money was through selling penny stock, penny stocks are shares of public companies at very low prices. Jordan Belfort and his team would sell and promote penny stock. Which then would make raise the value of the penny stock. When he sold all the penny stock he would drop the stock from his company. When doing this he would gain millions of dollars while his investors would lose a lot of money. He was finally arrested and spent twenty-two months in prison. But he had done this for years and represented huge brands like Steve Madden. He never felt guilt for the companies that he represented or his investors since he was on such a high of power. He let power get to his head, which ultimately lead to the downfall of him in the financial world and his company.
In Lord of the Flies, Jack had always wanted to become a leader, and always wanted to acquire more and more power. Jack was always on a quest to kill a pig to get food and to show his leadership abilities.“ The mask was a thing on it own, behind which Jack hid, liberated from shame and self-consciousness. (64)” At the beginning of the book, Ralph was chosen as the main leader between him and Jack. Throughout the first half of the book the boys were in desperate need of food, and everybody wanted to kill the pig. Jack thought that killing this pig would make himself look like a more capable leader. He did anything to kill this pig, going to the degree of wearing face paint to attract this pig. Even though he was killing the pig to feed the boys, he did the killing in a very gruesome manner, and slit the pig's throat. He had done actions which we would view as gruesome and inhumane to require the power that he believed he deserved.
Power has the ability to corrupt a mind. When you believe you are on top of the world, and have control over so many people you believe that you can do anything. Madoff and Belfort knowling committed crimes,but didn’t think twice because they benefited from those actions. Jack knew that killing another boy, and gruesomely killing a pig was something immoral, and yet still did it to possess power. We have a part of our brain that always want us to be the best of the best, which makes people associate with having power over other people. Human always crave power for the urge of power. Humans will do anything to be on top of the world.
Golding, William, and Donna Reardon. Lord of the Flies. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1954.
Jones, Huw. “United States Top, Britain Second in Financial Activity: Think-Tank.” Reuters,
Thomson Reuters, 4 Sept. 2018, www.reuters.com/article/us-survey-markets/united-states-top-britain-second-in-financial-activity-think-tank-idUSKCN1LK2TM.
Yang, Stephanie. “5 Years Ago Bernie Madoff Was Sentenced to 150 Years In Prison – Here's
How His Scheme Worked.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 1 July 2014, www.businessinsider.com/how-bernie-madoffs-ponzi-scheme-worked-2014-7.
“Jordan Belfort: How He Became the Wolf of Wall Street.” Warrior Trading, Warrior Trading, 12June 2018, www.warriortrading.com/jordan-belfort-wolf-wall-street/.
- On my local area network we have 4 computers, one tablet, one tv and 5 phones on the line.
- What I've learned is about how important is it about what you do on the internet and that it can always be tracked.
- I would tell people that it's not just a wire connecting it to your WIFI its a much more complicated than you think.