Reporter Lily Jamali speaks with Arab-Americans in New York about whether President Obama’s speech in Cairo one year ago has made a difference to them.


Gustavo Gutierrez

July 7th


Khorasan is a province shared between Afghanistan and Iran. Zarathushtra (Zoroaster) was born in modern Afghanistan. The culture of the Afghan peoples is a mix of Turkic, Persian, and Desi (South Asian) influences.

In Afghan weddings, the singing of Hindi/Urdu love songs is common.

Gustavo Gutierrez

July 7th


Persians only constitute about half of Iran's population, Iran is home to Arabs, Armenians, Kurds, and Azeri peoples also. Iran is sometimes called "land of five nations."

Furthermore, Persians live in Bahrain, UAE, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, etc.

These former territories were part of the Sassanian empire, one of the great powers of Western Asia during the time of the Arab conquest and imposition of Islam on Iran.

My family has intermarried with people from Iran proper and people who have a Persian cultural background from other parts of Western and Central Asia.

Dari, was the Persian language of the Sassanian Empire and is therefore not "primitive, backwards" sounding.

I'm half Mexican therefore that explains my "pagan" Norse name Gustavo and my surname is one of Spanish Crusaders who fought the Arab-Berbers who ruled Spain and Portugal for seven centuries, till in 1492 the last Islamic emirate in Granada was overthrown by the "Catholic Monarchs" Ferdinand and Isabelle.


July 7th


IF you are truly afghan, then you are YET ANOTHER AFGHAN who HIDES BEHIND THE SHIELD OF CALLING HIM or HERSELF IRANIAN/PERSIAN DUE TO THE FACT THAT THEIR OWN COUNTRY, afghanistan, has become so wrecked and destroyed due to wars/conflicts galore!


JUST because some of you speak DARI--a primitive, backwards sounding FARSI--does NOT entitle you guys to calling yourselves Iranian or PERSIAN.

PERSIAN is an ethnicity totally within the borders of modern day IRAN.

Be proud of afghanistan, your COUNTRY, and again STOP/QUIT lying. It is quite belittling to IRANIAN/PERSIAN PEOPLE.

THE DAYS OF THE ANCIENT PERSIAN EMPIRE ARE LONG GONE. The afghanis are no longer, in case you forgot, the "colonized" peoples.

Get over it...


June 10th

Your heritage is very interesting. I have some experience with diverse heritage and my own family mixture is very much like yours with a few differences. In my Islam class, an American lady was commenting that her Indian Muslim friend was looking to get married. She was considered an old maid because she was in her early 30s and not married. A classmate asked what kind of man her friend was looking for and the other lady said "any race as long as he is Muslim." My teacher and I had to let the lady know that Indians generally want their kids to marry their "own kind," not just the same religion. This is true for all the Indians I know. And this is my experience. Some people have commented that it is difficult for blacks or Latino converst to fit into mosque culture and Islamic marriage with other races. I have not seen that personally but believe it is true.

Gustavo Gutierrez

June 10th

Yvashche, I believe Muuslim is probably African American and had a negative experience with immigrant Muslims. I'm Mexican and Iranian/Afghan American. In the Middle Eastern community, there is the notorious Persian/Arab divide. From my own experience, I've noticed white converts are better received than Black converts unfortunately. In this country, "white privilege" is a reality. My mother, a Persian woman, clings to her "white privilege" and growing up, my family would always note my fair complexion. I too can pass as "white" if I so desired. I'm not the most observant Muslim and don't sport the "typical Muslim" male look of a healthy beard or kufi. When it came to racial identity on the US Census, I choose Race: White but Ethnicity: Hispanic. When it comes to being Latino, a Latino can be of any race. Iranian Americans are considered "non-Hispanic white" while Afghan Americans are considered Asian Pacific Americans. Though in 2000, 98% of Afghan American respondents checked off Race: White while 25% of Pakistani Americans checked off Race: White. In this country, Muslims can inculcate the racism that is prevalent in this society. My Spanish and Farsi are elementary and lacking in fluency. My Arabic is even worse. Essentially, I'm monolingual. However, Muslims can be denial when it comes to discussing dicey issues.

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