Solitude, Religious and Cultural Uniqueness in a Foreign Environment: Adjustments as an Arab Student

Hamzeh Y. Abunab, Wireen Leila T. Dator, Jordan T. Salvador, Mary Grace C. Lacanaria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Arab-Muslims have extremely religious-centered and restrictive cultural practices. Living in a foreign country where Islam is a minority religion and culture is categorically different entails a great deal of adjustment. This study explored how Arab-Muslim International Students live and cope in a non-Arab, non-Muslim country. The authors used phenomenological approach with Colaizzi’s method of analysis to (1) explore the lived experience of the Arab students’ academic and social life and (2) come up with recommendations that can be supported by universities in Philippines and other countries with Arab students. Emergent themes include Hybrid vision and empowerment from education beyond borders “Tatallo at wa kudurat,” Stigma in the Arab world “Hallah,” Islam as way of life “Al Islam: Manhaj Hayyat,” and Future of the Arab-Muslim students “Wahaa.” The major concepts that emerged from the lived experience of these students focused on the practical reasons for quality education, challenges along the way, culture shock, the stigma, and misconceptions about Arabs and Muslims. They experienced discrimination, the impact of stereotyping and misconceptions about the Arab-Muslims. Their tenacity of the Islam faith has become a coping mechanism and kept them enormously strong. They also strived to show the real meaning of being Muslim, and finally, looking forward to how they can become the oasis in the desert. The Arab-Muslim International Students experience difficult adjustments in a foreign country to acquire high quality education, while holding on to their Islam faith and keeping their culture intact.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1701-1718
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Religion and Health
Volume56
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017

Fingerprint

Social Adjustment
Islam
Students
Education
Muslims
Solitude
Uniqueness
Religion
Arab World
Stereotyping
Philippines
Middle East
Shock

Keywords

  • Adjustment
  • Arab Muslim international students
  • Education
  • Religion
  • Sociocultural practices

Cite this

Abunab, Hamzeh Y. ; Dator, Wireen Leila T. ; Salvador, Jordan T. ; Lacanaria, Mary Grace C. / Solitude, Religious and Cultural Uniqueness in a Foreign Environment : Adjustments as an Arab Student. In: Journal of Religion and Health. 2017 ; Vol. 56, No. 5. pp. 1701-1718.
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Solitude, Religious and Cultural Uniqueness in a Foreign Environment : Adjustments as an Arab Student. / Abunab, Hamzeh Y.; Dator, Wireen Leila T.; Salvador, Jordan T.; Lacanaria, Mary Grace C.

In: Journal of Religion and Health, Vol. 56, No. 5, 01.10.2017, p. 1701-1718.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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