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On Reema Dodin!

On Reema Dodin!

Saturday, 28 November, 2020 - 11:00
Nabil Amr
Palestinian writer and politician

Putting aside all the vaunting and boasting about Reema Dodin’s ascension to a top-level position at the center of global power- the White House- although she deserves the praise, her appointment stirred an extremely vital, even pressing, issue: How do Arabs in the US cope and how to they deal with the opportunities available to them to participate in the political life? Are they Americans of Arab origin or Arabs living in the US, with no concern for anything but putting food on the table, at a distance from the US institutions that shape the great power’s policies?

Some Arabs - including many Palestinians - consciously dealt with their affairs as Americans of Arab descent, benefiting from the opportunities available to them to prove their competence as they engaged in partisan, academic, cultural work and activity and took up public service without losing their inherent loyalty to their roots.

The US offers plenty of chances for intelligent people to take, allowing them to rise through ranks and reach the highest and most influential positions. Al-Maqdisi Sununu became White House director, a role similar to that of the prime minister in other countries. Edward Said was regarded by some as the United States’ most important intellectual, as was Ibrahim Abu-Lughod. There are undoubtedly many, many others whom we are not familiar with.

As for Reema Dodin, we must go over her journey in the US to find out how this Palestinian girl came to occupy a high-level position at the White House. Dodin is a female who has worked extremely hard on herself. A diligent student, who went on to become an activist and took by storm a number of US centers of power and institutions. She was well integrated and knew precisely how to translate the concept of an American of Arab-Palestinian descent into reality. She was extraordinarily successful at making the most of the opportunities that the US system grants every individual holding the US citizenship regardless of their family's origin; a plae where competency is first and foremost criteria.

I do not expect Reema to play a direct political role that some of her enthusiasts envisage. She won’t be the Palestinians’ consul at the White House. She will be an important aide to President Biden. The most she could do in the political arena is to make objective statements in the service of justice without contradicting her president’s policy.

From a humanitarian standpoint, or even instinctually, we cannot prevent ourselves from flaunting an intelligent, beautiful and vigorous young Palestinian women’s ascension to the upper echelons of any foreign state, let alone the White House! Nevertheless, how she goes about her role is purely her own decision. She is an American of Palestinian descent, and we wish her success in the role she has chosen for herself and congratulate her on what she has achieved.

Remarkably, I have read a lot about Palestinian and Arab young men and women, especially those who were born and raised in the US, learned its language and proved themselves and their capabilities in the vast country. They are many, and they are continually increasing.

Having mastered performing their “Americanism,” they also mastered their roles in media and politics, and can convince many of the righteousness of their people’s cause.

We are living in a time where intelligent people compose outstanding merits and grow, while fools threaten to destroy what the intelligent had achieved, but, they continue to lose!

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