Across the US, people have taken to the streets to protest Donald Trump’s surprising presidential victory.

In some cities — notably in Portland, Oregon — the protests have turned violent. And all around the world people are watching.

Joyce Karam is the Washington bureau chief for the pan-Arab newspaper Al-Hayat.

She says she’s been getting lots of questions from her readers.

Questions like: “Is this like the Arab spring?  [Are] these massive protests? Will they stop Donald Trump from becoming President?”

Karam doesn’t believe that these protests will stop Trump from becoming President. But she does believe that they might be the new normal.

“I think what you are witnessing is an unprecedented level of polarization within the US between the right and the left," she says, “and I think this will keep playing on for a while."

Throughout his campaign, Donald Trump talked about registering Muslims in the US and about banning Muslims from entering the US.

But even so, Karam says she feels cautiously optimistic about Trump’s working relationship with the Muslim world as president.

“I know that his campaign has reached out to Muslim governments, assuring them that Trump the campaigner will not be Trump the president," Karam says. "He has nothing against Muslims and is looking forward to working with them. Will that materialize? I think that remains to be seen."

For Karam, originally from Lebanon, this question is personal. At the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, this summer, she worried about her own safety, particularly when one Trump supporter asked her where she was from.

“I have black hair, it was summer, I was darker, and I felt afraid, honestly terrified," she says. “And I just said, ‘Uh, India.”’

Karam did not want to be labeled a “bad Muslim,” or told to go back to the Middle East. Now that the election is over, and Trump has won, she hopes that his administration will turn the page on encouraging labels like those.

"Otherwise it will be a complete nightmare to cover this,” says Karam. “I can’t change how I look. I can’t change my name. And I can’t change my audience concerns.”

From PRI's The World ©2016 PRI