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          VOA文化藝術(shù)2024--Museum Tells Stories of Arab Americans

          時(shí)間:2024-04-22 02:53來(lái)源:互聯(lián)網(wǎng) 提供網(wǎng)友:nan ? 字體: [ ]

          Museum Tells Stories of Arab Americans

            Arab Americans have long been a part of life in the United States. A small museum in Dearborn, Michigan is trying to tell their stories.

            Called the Arab American National Museum, it has an exhibit about Joseph Haggar. He was a Lebanese immigrant who founded Haggar's clothing company in 1926.

            Diana Abouali is the museum's director. Abouali said, "He settled in Texas, and he started this pant company that was extremely successful in the 20th century." She added, "He also revolutionized the way that pants and clothing were mass produced."

            Haggar came up with the word "slacks" to describe pants that people would wear while relaxing. His slacks were worn by many American men including the 36th U.S. president, Lyndon Johnson.

            Stories like Haggar's are important to the museum's mission to show how Arab Americans have been part of American life since the late 19th century.

            "We communicate the American narrative1 in the voices of Arab Americans. They express their experiences in their own words," Abouali said. "This provides people with a more authentic2 and real representation of what it means to be Arab American."

            The museum attempts to share the Arab American experience, including the path to America, home and work life, and service in the U.S. Armed Forces.

            The offerings include an exhibit about the hundreds of Syrian and Lebanese immigrants in North Dakota between 1890 and World War I. Thousands of their descendants still live in the north central state today. Another exhibit includes lists of Arab American passengers on the Titanic3, which sank in 1912.

            The museum also tries to change religious misunderstandings.

            "Half of the Arab American community is Christian4," Abouali said. "And in fact, the earlier immigrants, who came in the late 19th century, early 20th century, were predominantly Christian."

            A "wall of fame" shows other well-known Arab Americans. They include reporter Helen Thomas, known as the first woman to end a White House press conference by saying, "Thank you, Mr. President." Others are actress Kathy Najimy, former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala, and Candace Lightner, who founded Mothers Against Drunk Driving in 1980.

            Stories of Arab immigrants are often misunderstood among Americans.

            Jasmine Hawamdeh is the director of arts and culture at the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. She said people often think of "the angry Arab, the terrorist Arab," or are "afraid of the Arab that comes from abroad." Another harmful idea, she said, is "the oppressed Arab woman."

            The museum tries to correct these false narratives5 about Arab Americans. But Abouali said the museum also tries to present Arab Americans as "ourselves."

            Although Arab Americans come from 22 countries, from northern Africa to western Asia, she said once they settle in the U.S., they become as American as they are Arab.

            Words in This Story

            exhibit –n. a presentation using models, pictures, screens, and other objects to tell about something

            relax –v. to be at ease and to not do work

            mission –n. a task or job that requires effort and skill

            narrative –n. a story

            authentic –adj. real, not false

            descendant –n. someone who is related to by blood to an ancestor

            predominantly –adv. mainly; for the most part


          1 narrative CFmxS     
          • He was a writer of great narrative power.他是一位頗有記述能力的作家。
          • Neither author was very strong on narrative.兩個(gè)作者都不是很善于講故事。
          2 authentic ZuZzs     
          • This is an authentic news report. We can depend on it. 這是篇可靠的新聞報道, 我們相信它。
          • Autumn is also the authentic season of renewal. 秋天才是真正的除舊布新的季節。
          3 titanic NoJwR     
          • We have been making titanic effort to achieve our purpose.我們一直在作極大的努力,以達到我們的目的。
          • The island was created by titanic powers and they are still at work today.臺灣島是由一個(gè)至今仍然在運作的巨大力量塑造出來(lái)的。
          4 Christian KVByl     
          • They always addressed each other by their Christian name.他們總是以教名互相稱(chēng)呼。
          • His mother is a sincere Christian.他母親是個(gè)虔誠的基督教徒。
          5 narratives 91f2774e518576e3f5253e0a9c364ac7     
          記敘文( narrative的名詞復數 ); 故事; 敘述; 敘述部分
          • Marriage, which has been the bourne of so many narratives, is still a great beginning. 結婚一向是許多小說(shuō)的終點(diǎn),然而也是一個(gè)偉大的開(kāi)始。
          • This is one of the narratives that children are fond of. 這是孩子們喜歡的故事之一。
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