Do you identify as someone straddling two cultures that often feel completely opposite from each other?
Are you someone who at times feels too much or not enough of either?
As a mixed Arab American, I understand the unique challenges that often arise in the formation of identity, belonging, and navigating family dynamics. I spent part of my childhood in the United Arab Emirates, and the other part of my life in the United States. I often felt confused about how I fit into American or Middle Eastern societies, feeling like I didn’t quite fit with either. I know that everyone’s story and background is unique, but I also understand that there are many common themes that tie children from parents of two different cultures together.
Helping people work through unique strengths and challenges has been important to me since my time in graduate school, where I found that there are very few real resources specifically for therapy/psychology and Arab Americans.
I focus on the need for Arab American folks to feel safe, free from judgement, and above all understood in the therapy room. In my research, and well as experience with Arab American clients, I have found these consistent themes:
- Feeling confused about exactly who they are or what culture they belong to
- Feeling judged by one culture for their other “half”
- Feeling misunderstood
- Feeling unable to connect with at least one of their parents fully
- Feeling as though they have to “hide” parts of themselves
Through a deep understanding and appreciation of the cultural and religious backgrounds that many Arab Americans deal with, I can offer a unique and non judgmental space to work through the issues that my clients bring in.