A Tale Of Two Dilemmas Essay

839 words - 4 pages

Loneliness, isolation, schizophrenia...maybe you have never experienced such intense feelings in your life but many people around the world are familiar with these words for they don’t just represent “feelings” that pass by but a harsh reality that haunts them day in and day out. These are all symptoms of identity dilemma, a serious issue that has become very common nowadays due to the increasing rates of immigration. Abinader and Maalouf both share their unique experiences with identity dilemma and how each one dealt with it in their respective articles “Just Off Main Street, 2012” and “Deadly Identities, 2012”.
Although Abinader and Maalouf both emigrated from their native country to live in a foreign country, the circumstances in which each one migrated differ. Abinader emigrated from Lebanon to USA from a young age with her family, and she grew up in a house very rooted in Lebanese tradition. Growing up in such a household made Abinader strongly feel the differences and contrast in lifestyle between the Arab culture and the American one. On the other hand, Maalouf emigrated from Lebanon to France on his own at the age of 27, a fully grown adult who had a clear perception of his identity and was open to adding more components to it.
In her writings, Abinader often describes how she felt the presence of a magic door that separated two sides of her world, on one side lay her family and their faithfulness to their Lebanese roots, as well as her writings about them later on. On the other side there was the American culture with all its components, from the girls that teased her at school all the way to her colleagues and their growing hostility towards Arabs. Whilst Maalouf also faced trouble when it came to identity, his problems were of a different nature. Maalouf was always very open about embracing all components of his identity, as he stresses the fact that each and every aspect of one’s identity contributes to giving their identity its unique flavor, “This is why I am myself and not another…Would I be more authentic if I cut off a part of myself?” (Maalouf, 2012, p. 66). Maalouf’s problem, however, was with society and their definition of identity. Maalouf recalls how he was often asked whether he felt more Lebanese or French and his reply would always be “both”, yet more often than not people were not satisfied with that answer. Maalouf was angered by people’s insistence that he...

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