By Subhi J. Gharbieh
With everything that is currently going on in many parts of the Middle East, specifically Egypt, it really made me think about how blessed we are to live in this country. Being a first generation Palestinian-American, it hurts me to see what the Egyptian people are going through. But I am proud that they are standing up for what they believe in, a true and fair democracy.
Sometimes, we take for granted the rights and freedoms we have as Americans. Many people around the world only dream to have the freedom, justice, and liberties that we have. We live in a country that allows us to vote for our leader, as well as many other rights. Freedom of religion, the right to a fair and just trial, the right to bear arms, and the freedom to own property, to name a few.
While you may think: “Most, if not all, countries around the world allow their citizens to own property.” Yes, this may be true. But there are not too many countries that have a government in place that is actively involved in assisting its citizens with home ownership. With the existence of our government-sponsored entities such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, tax incentives and deductions — The American Dream of owning a home can very well become a reality for those who desire it.
Another thing that I am greatly thankful for is level of organization and accountability that we have in this country. A perfect example is the NAR Code of Ethics that we are upheld to as REALTORS®. Article 10 in the NAR Code of Ethics says:
“REALTORS® shall not be parties to any plan or agreement to discriminate against a person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, or sexual orientation.”
This statement just shows how diverse our country is, and that everyone has the right to own a home without being discriminated upon. We all came to this country on different boats, and different times. Let’s not criticize our differences, but rather learn to appreciate them. It is our diversity that makes this country so great.