Vertical relationships in a cohesive household structure can be overwhelming. There are weaknesses, as well as strengths, in having one’s individual identity bound so strongly to the community. It is true that Arabs also want to be valued as individuals in their own right.
A heady individualism seems to burst out of the constraints of family ties when a person feels that he or she has the strength to successfully defy the weight of tradition. Within the norms of a society in which the ‘group’ mentality counts for so much, some people seek to alter the assigned view of themselves by ‘becoming’ someone different.