Why do so many people immigrate to the United States when there is so much violence and dangers such as shootings or crimes? People come to the US to fulfill their dreams or “American Creeds”. Everyone has their own definition of an American Creed, and whether they are immigrants or not, these beliefs have the power to hold people together. After all, the US was founded and built upon immigrants. Coming from a long line of proud Lebanese, our American Creeds have carried onto our lives in the United States to this day.
Growing up, my parents have always tried to teach us important life lessons and morals. These lessons they are branding into my mind and my brothers’ minds have stuck with me to this very day. As I grow up, I have realized the importance of these words. The first thing I have been taught was family always comes first. When it comes to family, it is the most important thing in our lives. I spoke to my mom about why family is so important to her and why it is important that we cherish our time together. She responded by saying, “Your family is a group of people that you grew up with that will always take care of you and be there for you not matter what. Everything [my parents] do is for [my siblings and I]. You will never love anyone more than you love your family. When you grow up, the sad truth is that you grow apart from your family, but you have to try to see each other every time you can. Anytime you are free, visit your parents, brothers, cousins, and grandmas, and never forget about they have done for you” (Iskandar, Nancy). While growing up, my parents designated every Sunday to spending time with the family. Sundays were named “Family Day” and during these days, my family and I would go out for dinner together. Additionally, we were not allowed to hang out with friends because “family comes first”. Although these days seemed irrelevant when I was younger, I now realized the importance of having these days. Since my older brother is going to college, we are trying to spend as much time with him as possible before he leaves. What I now realized was that my parents were trying to spend as much time with us as possible because we are growing up really quickly and we will not be able to have moments like seeing each other every day or eating dinner as a family every day. To conclude, family has been the most important things in our lives and everything should be done for the family.
Ever since my family immigrated to the US, my dad has always stressed how important languages are and how important it is that we continue to speak our native language of Arabic/Lebanese. My brothers and I grew up learning how to speak English, Arabic, and French fluently. When we moved here, our ability to speak French and Arabic has decreased, and for that reason, my dad always tries to speak to us in Arabic as much as he can. I asked, “Why it is so important that we keep speaking Arabic?” He replied, “There are two main reasons why I want [my brothers and I] to remember how to speak, read, and write Arabic. First one is because you have to be able to talk to your family or other people when you go to Lebanon and you should never forget your roots. The second reason is because you can take advantage of speaking another language. In the future, when you go to college and when you want to get a job, you would be able to go to different Arab speaking countries and work there with many different people” (Iskandar, Bassam). My dad explained to me that speaking Arabic is part of our culture, which is why I should never forget it. As well as that, speaking Arabic gives me the opportunity to make money in different places in the world. I had follow up question for him as well. I asked, “If speaking Arabic is so important, then why did we move?” He replied by saying, “We moved here for [my brothers and I]. We moved here so that you have the opportunity to attend one of the best schools in the country and take advantage of the of the education here. In your school, you have so many different classes and clubs that you can be whoever you want. Which is why you should try your best in school and try to come out on top” (Iskandar, Bassam). My dad wants my brothers and I to take advantage of the education here because we all have the opportunity to be something in this country. During one of our English classes, Jesus Rodriguez, a classmate’s dad, spoke to our class about their American Creed and coming to the US. He explained that he came to the US to give his children the opportunity to live a successful life in one of the best places in the US. Immigrants are brought together by the same thing: their children. To conclude, languages are one of the most important aspects of life, and we have to take advantage of the opportunities we are given.
Everyone is entitled to their own definition of an American Creed. These American Creeds define what it means to be American and bring people together. Since America has lost sight of our beliefs because of the divisions of our country, it is important to have stories to remind us about other people’s American beliefs and diverse culture of the US. I do not like to identify myself as just Lebanese or just American. I am proud to be Lebanese and American.
Iskandar, Bassam. Personal interview. 8 June. 2019
Iskandar, Nancy. Personal interview. 8 June. 2019
Rice, Condoleezza. “American Creed.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 27 Feb. 2018, www.pbs.org/video/american-creed-ikwuqf/.
Rodriguez, Jesus, Personal interview. 29 May. 2019