Just because we're Arabs

The main character in Does My Head Look Big in This? is a young girl with parents from the Middle East living in Australia. The following text is also written by a girl - this time an Arab girl who writes about what it was like for her family to live in the USA after the terrorist attacks on September 11 2001. 


September 11th was the worst day ever for the United States. I am 13 and a Muslim, so I am an Arab-American. I was born in the U.S. Virgin Islands and have lived here all my life. The first time I ever heard of Osama bin Laden was when the terrorist attacks happened. The attacks not only affected Americans, it affected everyone, including Arabs. Just because a group of Arabs planned the attacks doesn’t mean all Arabs are the same. It isn’t fair how people blame all Arabs, or Muslims.

That Tuesday morning, I found out what happened when I got to my third period class, American History. We were getting ready for a test but went to the library to watch the news. At first I thought it was nothing, but then I realized it was extremely serious. Everyone immediately blamed the Arabs. The news said there was a car bomb and everyone said it was Palestinians, my people. That really upset me.

At the end of October the supermarkets my family owns, my house and the houses of some of my aunts and uncles were raided by the CIA and FBI because some lady said our supermarkets supported terrorists and that one was working there. I found out after school when my aunt picked me up and explained what had happened. I was really upset. They took all our computers from the house and stores except for two, which they made copies of.

My parents came here to get away from the war in the Middle East and struggled to make sure nothing affects us. We have a successful life, but now people want to stop us from having a good life. I feel hurt. I am an American, too. I am also proud to be an Arab!

I felt hurt when the terrorists attacked. So many people lost their lives. Many will think that because I am an Arab I think the U.S. deserved it, but I don’t. I think it’s wrong to kill innocent people. I don’t know why so many people want war.

Sometimes I wonder if the U.S. is going to be attacked again. Many Arabs came here to get away from war. Why can’t everyone accept us for who we are instead of judging us by our appearance?

- By Sana H




Focus on the text

  1. Where did Sana live when she wrote this?
  2. Why did she have special reasons for being upset by what happened on Sept. 11, 2001?
  3. What action did the FBI take regarding Sana and her family?
  4. Why did her parents move away from the Middle East?
  5. How did Sana feel about the terrorist attack?
  6. What did she fear might happen in the future?