By Fr. Labib Kobti

The first time I came to the Unites States of America, I thought that Arabs would be the least of all poeples. When I met, admixed and worked with the other peoples who this great country of USA, I found myself one of the most advanced, smart, good, beautiful people around.

What made me think about my Arabic heritage? We do not have Arab-Gangs. We do not have Arab homless, we are really very successful in the USA. In every Arab home I have found an open house for everybody. Our people are friendly to anyone, discreminating against no one, and generously welcoming everyone to their table. Our Women are the most beatiful models.

Arab Americans worked hard in the past to make this wonderful and powerful country what it is to day the USA, and are working always for the best.

Why should I my name from Ghassan to Gef, from Munther to Mike, from Issa to Sam, from Mustafa to Mus, from Abel-Jaber to JJ, or from Chafica to Judi, from Amina to Mimi etc? My name has a lot of meaning in my Arabic tradition. My name is not less than any other name like Netenyaho, Brojeski, Dickerson, or Heather or Jeferson etc.

Why am I shy to say that I am Arab-American, that I am proud of it? Why should I lie about where I had come from? Why should I beleive that discremeintion should continue against our people in the USA, and I can do nothing but hide myself, my business, my children and my name?

Why should I try to forget the Arabic I used to know, the heritage, the traditions that made me Arab?

Why should I lie that Arab Muslims and Arab Christians are one family, they have built and are their home Arabic countries and are working always togehter.

Why Should an Arab Muslim become Muslim in the USA and the Arab Christian become only Christian? Why should not say that they are proud to be ARABS too. When in Oklohoma they first accused us they did not made any distinctions, between Arab Muslim or Arab Christian, they just said Arabs.

I am proud to be an Arab-Catholic priest, friend to the Arab Muslims, friend to evrybody. I am very proud to be ARAB.