Name of Culture
Arab is not a race, but is a group of individuals that are united by their culture and history (ADC, 2014). There are many different variations commonly based on a particular individual’s country of origin such as Arab Americans. Other variations are based on their social class, the level of their education, if they live urbanely or rurally, or the time they have spent in the United States (Lipson & Dubble, 2007). Most Arabs also practice Islamic religion and are Muslim. When working with an Arab or Muslim client, nurses should ask what the client wishes to be referred to so as not to offend them in any way (Lipson & Dubble, 2007).
Countries of Origin
There are 22 countries in the Middle East and North Africa that are considered Arab countries. These countries include: Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait, Morocco, and Yemen (ADC, 2014). Before the spread of Islam, Arabs were any nomadic, Arabic speaking inhabitants of the Arabian Peninsula. Presently, the term Arab is used to describe any individual that speaks Arabic living in the Arabian Peninsula and the surrounding areas (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2013).
Arabs primarily speak Arabic with “variations in the dialects, words, and meanings in different Arab countries” (Lipson & Dubble, 2007, p. 43). Despite the different variations, most Arabs understand each other. All Muslims are required to read the Koran that is written in Arabic. While they all read this, not all speak Arabic fluently, or at all in some cases. There are some ethnic minorities that speak their own language, and are not understood by most of the surrounding populations. In the United States, nearly 600,000 people speak Arabic in their own homes; professionals and business people that are Arab typically speak fluent English (Lispon & Dubble, 2007).
When addressing Arabs, nurses should use their title and first name. If unsure how to address the patient, the nurse should ask how a friend or distant relative would address them. Adults and elderly may have other preferences like mother or father, followed by the first name of their eldest son. When approaching an Arab, it is acceptable to shake their hand, smile, and offer direct eye contact. Although the patient may avoid these gestures, they are not viewed as offensive (Lipson & Dubble, 2007).
Historical Background Prompting Immigration
Arabs began arriving in the United States in the early 1800s. The first large wave arrived between 1887-1913. Many single, uneducated men were included in this large wave if immigrants. They were arriving from Greater Syria in search of a better job and a higher standard of living (Lipson & Dubble, 2007). The next wave of Arab immigrants came to the United States from 1940-1970. This wave of immigrants was driven by the political events and wars going on in their home countries; many of these immigrants were refugees. In 1948 the creation of the State of Israel drastically increased the amount...