Arabs and Arab Americans, Mental Health and

It is not easy to define the term Arab, although 100 million people in the world call themselves Arab. Arabs are not a distinct ethnic group, because there are white-complected Arabs, black Arabs, and all shades of variance between; Arabs can originate from the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq, Syria, or Africa; and language alone is not a sufficient criterion. Rather, modern Arabs can be considered a panethnic group whose populations are highly heterogeneous, with different ancestry and identities. What unites the Arab people is a shared heritage of language, culture, and political traditions. What is most important to those working with Arabs or Arab Americans is to first ascertain that they identify themselves as Arab and to keep in mind the extreme diversity of the ...

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