Narrative Paper on "Just off Main Street" by Elmaz Abinader

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  • Topic: Culture, The Culture, Asia
  • Pages : 3 (957 words )
  • Download(s) : 1670
  • Published : December 4, 2013
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Breaking Barriers: Acceptance of Exoticization
In her essay “Just off Main Street,” published by the United States Department of State, Elmaz Abinader stresses the importance of embracing cultural differences. Abinader precisely describes her struggles as an Arab-American attempting to stay true to her two worlds: the American society and her Lebanese culture. As an Armenian I can directly relate to almost every instance Abinader depicts throughout her essay. Abinader’s words and descriptions clearly outline the context of her two worlds. For example, a key symbol Abinader consistently mentions is the “magic door” or “portal” that separates the outside and inside world (par 1). Through her descriptions, comparisons, and cultural concepts, Adinader creates worlds of meaning between her former “portal” and the “outside world” by eliminating the ignorance and sparking a domino effect of acceptance to all Middle Eastern cultures.

In her first paragraph, Abinader sets up the norms in today’s society. She uses the word “standard” which immediately causes the reader to picture the typical American community. The first paragraph signaled for a comparison between Abinader’s community and her home life. When she states, “From the face of it, our businesses looked like any others,” I understand that her family is attempting to put up a front in order to blend in (par 2). When Abinader states, “my father and my uncle stood in the doorways of their establishments,” her use of the word “establishments” has meaning to me. Most individuals of Middle Eastern, European decent are very hardworking and take their possessions and accomplishments seriously. These cultures have an ideology encompassing strong pride, because in historical situations they have been criticized and undermined.

On April 24, 1915 the Ottoman Turks killed over 1.5 million Armenians. This tragedy is referred to as the Armenian genocide. However, till this day the Turks and several uninformed...
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