The youth-written stories in YCteen give inspiration and information to teens in foster care while offering staff insight into those teens’ struggles.

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Teacher Lesson Return to "Walking While Arab"
Walking While Arab
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Lesson for “Walking While Arab”

The writer, in “Walking While Arab,” describes about how, as a Muslim teen, she becomes an object of attention after 9/11 and gets harassed on the street.

Prompts for discussion and/or writing:

• She feels hated for being a Muslim. Have you ever felt like the object of negative attention because of your appearance, race, or ethnicity? Why did you feel this way? Do you still have these feelings?

• The writer feels stereotyped as a terrorist because she comes from an Arab country. In what ways do you feel stereotyped because of your race or ethnicity?

• Some of her Muslim friends have a hard time deciding whether or not to wear their traditional dress in public, for fear of being harassed or threatened. Have you ever thought of changing the way you dress, for fear of being misunderstood or harassed in public? How?

• Many people now hold stereotypes about Muslim people and Arab countries. The writer says that education is the enemy of discrimination. What does she mean by this? Do you agree or disagree?

Roleplay: Two students, playing the writer and a Muslim friend. The friend wants to change her traditional clothing because she’s afraid of how people will react to her in public. She wants to convince her friend to dress as she always does.

Group activity: Students can work in pairs or small groups. The groups have to come up with a school program to prevent and lessen stereotypes about Muslims and Arabs. Have the groups share and compare their ideas in a general discussion with the class.
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[Other Teacher Resources]
(NYC-2002-04-15)

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