Wed. Jul 17th, 2024

An ideal and new challenges

By nr39r Jul4,2024

Vermont’s Winooski Pistachio cakes, cultured yogurts, colorful candies, and exotic preserves: Winooski’s modest Nada Market delivers Middle Eastern delicacies. Ahmad Aref, Burlington suburb business manager, says the Arab community is well embraced despite its small size.

“The people are really nice, very friendly,” the 51-year-old whispers.

From Baghdad, Winooski is over 5,600 miles away. After following a relative to Vermont in 2009, he and his wife would not leave. They had three children and a fourth was born in the U.S.

“For me, the American dream means living in a safe, peaceful place,” says his wife, Ohood Abdulkhaleq, wearing a black headscarf.

An American Ideal

In 1931, historian James Truslow Adams popularized the “American Dream” in The Epic of America. “In a very broad sense, it’s this idea that personal aspirations are achievable,” historian Jim Cullen, author of many writings, including The American Dream: A Short History of an Idea That Shaped a Nation, tells The American Dream via phone.

The concept is not new to the US, he explains. “But I think it’s pretty close to being central to the notion of American identity, that it’s also at the root of American patriotism, an idea that people embrace,” he says.

The current political climate highlights divides. But continuity includes an ideal.

The Sine Institute of Policy and Politics at American University in Washington polled 18-34-year-olds two years ago to determine what a “reimagined American dream” would look like for them. Their responses align with the 1776 Declaration of Independence, which guarantees the right to life, liberty, and happiness.

Regardless of political orientation, ethnicity, or gender, most said “feeling personally happy and fulfilled” was the most important part of this “reimagined dream.”

Freedom to choose, meaningful relationships, and financial achievement were also popular.

Young people are aware of their challenges: lack of financial resources, worry and helplessness, and distrust of institutions among the biggest.

In danger
“The American dream has not lived up to the ideals it was built on, and we have to constantly work to make that idea as real as possible,” Vermont author and environmental activist Bill McKibben said by phone.

The American dream is at risk for this 63-year-old climate change pioneer. “For me, what defines it is that we live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world, and that’s also the idea behind its creation, to govern ourselves,” adds. He regrets that climate change is altering its geography and endangering its people.

Mr. McKibben fears about democracy’s future, like most Americans.

He defends his democratic and ecological beliefs now. This Bernie Sanders devotee fears a Trump presidency and mobilizes elder Americans on his issues via 3rd Act.

“It’s important to be interested in young people, but the vote of the older generation is also important,” he says. “After all, we are old longer than we are young.”

Troublesome citizenship
The American dream myth of the immigrant who enters with a few money and rises socially is also persistent. Each year, hundreds of thousands of foreigners sail to the US for a better life.

The path is still treacherous.

Uzima Bora, from Congo, says, “In the US, there is public peace and laws, but for people with low incomes, it is a place of survival.” “A good country to live in if you are rich.”

At the Burlington Association of Africans Living in Vermont (AALV), the 30-year-old and her 43-year-old relative Mwajuma Ntirampeba sit in a room. They speak Swahili with an interpreter.

Bora said life in the US is better than in their war-torn nation or the Burundian refugee camp they evacuated six years ago. Despite 10 years of asylum application backlogs, the nurse’s aide wants citizenship for good and feels “stateless” My cousins aren’t citizens yet.

Ms. Ntirampeba, a mother of seven, has grown disillusioned. The woman with wide brown eyes sighs, “It’s not at all what I expected.”

Her family’s inexperience led to social service encounters that damaged her dreams for a calm life.

“I’m fighting the system, I’m fighting systemic racism, and I’m so mentally stressed that there are times when I feel like I would rather go back to Africa, because at least my sources of stress there were familiar,” she adds, hands folded on the table.–66866917e0bb9#goto9010


By nr39r

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