Not all of the fellows at ACOR are into archaeology...some of them are social researchers in various fields. One of these fellows is doing research on Arab-American youth who are sent back to their Middle Eastern homelands for school or enculturation. In talking with these young people, this fellow researcher told me, what is interesting is that they have experienced a different set of values in their Arab homelands than they have in America: A general respect for all people is encouraged, regardless of how someone may be different from you. This respect eliminates cliques and bridges wildly differing people. Everyone is simply friends (or friendly) to everyone. I have experienced this friendliness as well, but I was amazed that the teens she has interviewed have not experienced cliques in their schools, which are absolutely inescapable in the States. There, everyone wants to seal themselves up in a bubble with the people who are just like them; I guess it's more comfortable to us to be surrounded by those who dress and talk and believe as we do.
|Cliques are no fun.|