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Localities and Topography of the Appalachian and Arab Heritage

The Appalachians are known to have originated from Europe with their heritage in parts of England, Germany, Scotland, France, and Ireland. Their move to the United States was vested in their quest for better economic opportunities and search for religious freedom. In the present day, Appalachians are found in Eastern parts of the United States with their locality stretching from New York State’s Southern Tier to northern Georgia and Alabama (Cooper, Knotts & Elders, 2017). When they first moved to the United States, Appalachians were most educated and landed jobs in the mining, farming, and textile industries. However, due to modern-day isolation, most of them live under poor conditions characterized by unemployment and illiteracy. Despite their living conditions, Appalachians believe that their family roots and lineage serve an important purpose in their existence.

Arabs are originally from the Arabian Peninsula stretching from the Red Sea on the west and southwest, the Arabian Sea on the south and southeast, the Gulf of Aden on the south, and the Gulf of Oman on the east. Their official language is Arabic with English as their second language. Most Arabs live their lives with considerations of Arabic and Islam traditions and beliefs. As immigrants, most Arabs settled in the Northeast side of the United States and landed jobs in service industries as professionals. Arabs also believe in maintaining close family ties, with first cousins allowed to intermarry (“Arabia | Definition, History, Countries, Map, & Facts”, 2020).

Similarities in the Appalachian and Arab Healthcare Delivery Beliefs

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With similar lifestyle practices like smoking and consistent meat-eating, the Arab and Appalachian populations register poor health conditions. Furthermore, modern-day living conditions and lifestyles have placed Arabs and Appalachians in the line of diseases like obesity and cancer. Despite the prevalence of these diseases, Arabs and Appalachians strongly uphold the idea that every person is entitled to live in good health. They use traditional treatment methods to treat mild symptoms of illnesses and only encourage visits to hospitals for professional medical treatment in the event of illness severity (Purnell, 2014. The two cultures also believe that when someone is mentally ill, he/she has bad nerves which should be removed through traditional rituals, for the person to feel better.

How Religion or Folks Beliefs of Appalachians and Arabs Influence the Delivery of Healthcare

Religious and folks beliefs play an important role in the decision-making process of the two cultures when it comes to healthcare delivery. To begin with, due to their religious nature, Appalachians believe that good health is a gift and will from God. This makes them thrive to ensure that everyone lives a good and healthy life. If one gets sick, they believe that the power of God will heal them. Apart from divine intervention, Appalachians also bank on the power of traditional rituals to heal the sick. On the other hand, Arabs believe that when someone gets ill, he/she is being punished for sins committed. Just like the Appalachians, Arabs believe that sole-healing comes from God. Sick people go to the extent of requesting their chairs or beds to be angled in a position facing Mecca for them to be healed through divine intervention. Just like the Appalachians, Arabs also believe in the power of traditional rituals to heal the sick (Bonn, Kendall & McDonough, 2016).

These Arab and Appalachians beliefs affect healthcare delivery in their communities, by encouraging people to incline towards traditional healing rather than modern medicine. This makes it challenging for sick people to seek medical help and in most cases end up seeking medical attention when their condition has already worsened.


Arabia | Definition, History, Countries, Map, & Facts. (2020). Retrieved 22 May 2020, from https://www.britannica.com/place/Arabia-peninsula-Asia

Bonn, M., Kendall, L., & McDonough, J. (2016). Preserving intangible heritage: Defining a research agenda. Proceedings Of The Association For Information Science And Technology, 53(1), 1-5. doi: 10.1002/pra2.2016.14505301009

Cooper, C., Knotts, H., & Elders, K. (2017). A Geography of Appalachian Identity. Southeastern Geographer, 51(3), 457-472. doi: 10.1353/sgo.2011.0025

Purnell, L. D. (2014). Guide to culturally competent health care. FA Davis.

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