The intent of this thesis was to write a memoir of my five month trip to Libya that explores cultural differences through my experiences as an American with Western ideals. This memoir is focused on the cultural norms of marriage in the rural town of Msalata, in the central rural farming belt north of the ever expanding Sahara Desert of North Africa. My goal was to produce a work that is informational while showing the humanity of the local people through my perceptions as an outsider with different expectations. It was a time of discovery for me about the value of my upbringing and the positive aspects of American and Libyan culture. Our five months in Libya proved our strength and weakness. Libya was not what I expected. The people were hospitable beyond my experience. The customs at times were primitive and required an open mind. My children and I were the token Americans that summer who were invited to every wedding and birth. I was expected to attend many social events from circumcision celebrations to giving condolences along the side of my brother-in-lawâ€™s wife. Due to my American Christian upbringing I shared the moral values of Islam, which made it easy for me to become Muslim and live an Islamic life. At the same time, I could not fully accept all aspects of Libyan culture nor did my husband. Hadi rejected many things about his culture because it conflicted with Islam. My thesis did not come out the way I expected. It took a different direction from what I had original planned. It became focused on wedding traditions rather than on broader cultural contrasts.
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Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
English; Creative Writing
Arts and Humanities -- Dissertations, Academic; Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Fergiani, Asya, "Ebbing Winds: Life Rituals at Home and Abroad" (2013). HIM 1990-2015. 1527.