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Taunts And Suspicion Part Of Growing Up Arab In America

A generation of Arab-Americans came of age in an era of Middle East wars, terrorism, refugees, and suspicion.

From cruel playground taunts to unflattering media portrayals, these young people face challenges beyond the already daunting task of growing up in blended cultures.

“We’re just like anyone else. We’re Americans,” said Mohammad Nasereddin, a student at UNLV’s Boyd School of Law. “We want to take care of our family and our loved ones. And we just want to feel welcome in our country.”

Nasereddin, who grew up in the Palestinian Territories and Las Vegas, will be a panelist on Thursday, Feb. 9, at a forum, Young and Arab in America.

The event at the UNLV student union is sponsored by Hawiyati, a Las Vegas nonprofit that takes its name from the Arabic word for "my identity." The organization seeks to support young people and encourage them to embrace their cultural heritage.

The goal of the forum is “to raise awareness, especially with the atmosphere we live in right now,” said event organizer Guinwa Zeineddine, a UNLV graduate and founder of Hawiyati.

For more information on the Young and Arab in America program, click here.

Guinwa Zeineddine, nonprofit founder and forum organizer; Mohammad Nasereddin, Boyd Law School student and panelist

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With deep experience in journalism, politics, and the nonprofit sector, news producer Doug Puppel has built strong connections statewide that benefit the Nevada Public Radio audience.