MD: Vandalism Puzzles Arab Family



Rabab Saab stepped backward from her front porch in Waldorf and pointed up
at the streaks of egg yolk on the second floor windows.

She motioned to where another egg broke a shutter, where soggy toilet paper
still draped through the shrubbery, where the dog feces had been spread on
her daughter's car and her own front door.

Her house had been vandalized, that was obvious. But what did it mean? If
it had happened just once, Saab said, she would have assumed it was a case
of bored teenagers with nothing better to do. But last Sunday's episode
marked the second time in about two weeks her house was vandalized in a
similar manner.

"It's probably kids that decided they wanted to play a game, and we were
out of town. Or they decided they didn't want Arabs around," she said.
"It's a 50-50 chance someone doesn't want us around here."

The Charles County Sheriff's Office is investigating the vandalism as a
possible hate crime, partly because of the family's Arab heritage. No
offensive words or messages were left on the property, authorities said.

Saab, 48, is from Beirut. She immigrated to the United States more than 25
years ago and has lived in Waldorf for the past eight years. One of her two
daughters, Ruba Nuwayhid, 18, graduated from Westlake High School this year.

Nuwayhid said she did not experience prejudice at her school, and she does
not believe the family is being targeted because of its heritage. "I just
think it's kids being stupid," she said. But the severity of the vandalism
surprised her..

 


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