Dear Parents: This is why you should accept me for being “westernized”

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man wearing jacket and backpack reflecting
Feel Alive by Breanna Marie/DTS

Dear Parents,
Thank you for bringing us here. We do not  yet fully understand how great it is and cannot fathom how grateful we should be because we never lived (at least as adults) back where you call “home”.

Please remember why you brought us here – you wanted us to have a better opportunity, a chance at a decent or even a good life. Wasn’t that the goal? Didn’t you want us to prosper?

I understand you miss home and reminisce about the old days.

However, we see it clear as day, if things were good there why did you leave? Obviously it isn’t a good life, otherwise everyone would be thriving there. Sometimes we get irritated after hearing the same rant about waiting for medical treatment or every tax bill you get. But don’t forget that you are getting medical attention here. And the taxes, as annoying as they get, are what keep our government functional and pays for our infrastructure and all the things you need. Or have you forgotten how bad and dysfunctional it was back home? 

I get it, you miss seeing relatives and friends,
That sweet morning cup of tea on the balcony overlooking old streets that stood the test of history, 
The waft of a jasmine from the garden downstairs, 
The grocer that knows you and the kids by name and checks in on you, 
Friends and relatives dropping in and saying hi on their way.
But remember that was back then, today it is a different picture. That place is either destroyed, beyond repair, and the people there are stuck in dire situations they cannot get out of.

it can be hard watching your kids become westernized. You want them to have your rich millennia old culture. However, you brought us here, this is our home now and we have to live like it is to prosper.

Abraham on embracing our home

That being said, it can be hard watching your kids become westernized. You want them to have your rich millennia old culture. However, you brought us here, this is our home now and we have to live like it is to prosper. If we reject this place and act like we were still in your hometown, we will go nowhere – please reflect on this. For us to have the opportunities you wanted us to have, we must adapt to the lifestyle of the land we are on.

Forcing old traditions and cultures that are incompatible with our lifestyle defeats the purpose and rids us of the opportunity to thrive…

Abraham on Rejecting our traditions

Forcing old traditions and cultures that are incompatible with our lifestyle defeats the purpose and rids us of the opportunity to thrive, you might as well have stayed back home. It is just like taking the family out to a restaurant but not letting them eat! 

If we live like you want us to, like you did back home it will hinder us and make us outliers in our society, unable to integrate or function; Inevitably unable to move up in life leaving only a path leading down. – don’t you think that could be why some look at our minority differently? Maybe by closing ourselves off we’re not carrying our societal weight and actually acting like citizens of this place.* 

*Note: Societal duties have nothing with the job you hold. But rather how connected you are to everyone in your society, those you don’t know, not just the community you came from.

You will not be able to understand our struggle, nor see our success if you focus on and only see our difference.

But succeeding is going to be different than what you had in mind. The path to success has changed from the days you moved here. It has changed several times during my university years alone. You still made the right choice, because there is a chance of success here, where back home there is certain misery. It is very competitive here that we need to forge different paths from the traditionally successful ones. Ask me about it, I am an engineer like you! But it took me almost two years to find a job, and in my few years of employment I switched careers three times to stay afloat. Same story with doctors too. 

This means choosing which practices to keep at certain times and which to reserve for other times and places, or to reserve for visits back to your home. We need to adopt new practices to survive like moving out, working part time while studying, and volunteering. We need our hobbies to keep our soft skills active, and we need to date to find a partner that is suitable for our unique and diverse lifestyles. Yet we haven’t completely abandoned our culture and values, we’re putting them to good use – but in different contexts.

Dear parents, not letting us integrate in our society and forcing your idealised culture on us rids us of the chance to live a good life. It defeats the purpose of which you came here, don’t let your hard work go to nothing. 

Take a look at how things are in your hometown, the lifestyle evolved, maybe it degraded, it certainly isn’t what you have in mind. By moving here, you locked in the memory of a home you once knew. But you never let it move a minute past the day you said your goodbyes.

I know you miss home, but this is our home now.
You brought us here, don’t imprison us in a time capsule.

With all the love,

Your son,

Abraham
@planetof.theabes

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Comments to: Dear Parents: This is why you should accept me for being “westernized”
  • September 28, 2020

    This was everything I’ve been wanting to say but never knew how. I wish there was a version in Arabic so I could send it to my dad 😭

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