Arab Americans: Resist, Don’t Enlist

Arab Americans: Resist, Don't Enlist
By Nadia Abou-Karr

DETROIT, 1 Aug. 2007, (


I'm disturbed by the gratuitous National Guard solicitation targeted to Arab Americans that I have been seeing in places like The Arab American News and Dearborn's Arab International Festival. I am bombarded with these misleading, exploitative ads on TV, in the movie theater, and now in my Arab American media? Am I the only one who thinks it's abusive and unfair for Arabs to advocate service in the American military to other Arabs? Are our lives worth so little that we should sacrifice them in service of a government that has institutionalized discrimination against us, in order to perpetuate the same type of war and imperialism that brought many of our families here?

More importantly, are there so few rich Arab Americans setting up endowments and scholarship funds for low income Arab American youth that our youth feel they have no other choice but to enlist if they want to have any chance at the trifecta (doctor, lawyer, engineer) of Arab American success? With all the pressure put on young Arab Americans, regardless of economic status, to achieve high educational goals, enlisting in the military might seem incredibly appealing to those of us with few other financing options. Why not increase the options? I'm reminded of this quote, from Eduardo Bonilla-Silva's book

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About Nadia Abou-Karr

Nadia is a Palestinian-American writer based in Detroit. She recently received a Bachelors of Fine Arts from Wayne State University and plans to pursue graduate studies in Visual Culture/Criticism. She is an artist, writer, media maker and activist. Currently Nadia is working with the Allied Media Conference, TheCulturalConnect, and writing for Detroit's Metro Times. She has written and contributed to numerous different zines and independent publications, and blogs at Her interests include printmaking, fiber arts, Palestinian liberation, women of color feminism and art theory.

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