The Impact of September 11th on Arab-American Youth
The events of September 11th deeply shook the American psyche, leading to a shift in political and social realities that impacted every citizen. Overwhelmingly divisive, the response to September 11th drew a clear boundary between the concept of being an Arab and being an American. The post-9/11 landscape therefore presented a unique challenge to Arab-American youth in terms of forming their identity: within a divisive atmosphere, Arab-American youth had to cultivate an identity that incorporated both cultures simultaneously, with varying rates of success. This study seeks to understand how the post 9/11 atmosphere impacted the identity formation of Arab-American youth. I examine patterns of identity among Arab-American students at the University of Washington, and how factors such as politics, religion, and gender work in an environment of fear that inhibit Arab-American youth from feeling completely accepted in mainstream society.