Latin Arabia

A World You Never Knew Existed

Thursday, May 11th, 2017

Undercounted Everywhere

Demographers and statisticians have nightmares counting the Arabs in Latin America.

To see this in action one need merely go to: Lebanese-Argentine, on Wikipedia which lists 1.5 Million Lebanese in Argentina …
and then go to: Arab-Argentine, which lists a spread of 1,300,000 – 3,500,000 Arab-Argentines.

How in the world could Wikipedia even entertain 1.3 Million as the low end of the spread when it lists 1.5 Million Lebanese-Argentines, who are roughly half the Argentine-Arab population? The Lebanese alone would set the low end at 1.5 Million. Realizing that Syrian Orthodox Argentines are just as numerous, if not more, would fix the low end of Arab-Argentines at 3.0 Million, not 1.3 Million.

So how does this idiocy arise?

The Lebanese Maronites will often not self-identify as Arabs.

Actually, 3.5 to 4.0 Million Arab-Argentines is probably the more accurate spread. This is backed up by other sources, including which claimed 4 Million Arab-Argentines (probably a slight bit high).


In Argentina, the Arabs claimed 4 Million Population (1:00) – Mostly Christian
They were mad that a popular secular Arab-Argentine show was being cancelled to make
way for a Muslim show that most Arab-Argentines, being Christian, did not even want.

In the case of South America, I have found that a good rule of thumb – except for Chile – is to find the number of Lebanese and double it to account for Syrian Orthodox Christians, and then add another 10% to account for other Arabs to get a good estimate. The Maronites and Syrian Orthodox are roughly equal, and you add in 10% for the other Arabs – except in Chile where Palestinians abound. This tends to produce a more accurate figure; and when cross-checked will often bear out.

IT IS NOT JUST IN LATIN AMERICA.

Take a look at this:

Source: Lebanese-American (Wikipedia)

Lebanese Americans comprise 0.79% of the American population as of the American Community Survey estimations for year 2007, …

Do the math: 0.79% x 301 Million Americans (2007) = ~ 2.4 Million Lebanese-Americans.

Yet, the same Wikipedia article lists American Lebanese as “504,499 (born)” and “489,702 (Ancestry).” That is a discrepancy of over 1 million people compared to the 2.4 Million predicated by caluclation above.

Wikipedia also lists 1,698,570 as the low estimate for Arab-Americans,; yet, as we have shown, there should be approximately 2.4 Million Lebanese-Americans alone.

What is going on is the common refusal of Christian-Lebanese Americans to identify as Arabs. It is infuriating and makes analysis much harder.

As the Canadian-American scholar noted:

Source Islamic Renewal in Iberia and Latin America: Its Needs and Preconditions T.B. Irving 1981
a lecture delivered at the University of Brasilia

Frankly it has been hard to gather much data on this subject. Yet even the Christian Lebanese immigrants to South America (and I might include much of Africa where these Lebanese have also gone as mer­chants and entrepreneurs) owe much to their over‑all Arab heritage, even though many of them try to call themselves “Phoenicians”.

This is common throughout all our studies. In the end, we are forced to conclude that the number of Arabs in any country (even the United States) in the Western Hemisphere is usually grossly under reported, because Lebanese Christians, especially Maronite Catholics, will often refuse to identify as Arabs.

In Australia, this created an absurdity where Australians of Lebanese-Christian background were allowed to classify themselves as Syriac (an ancient language group, not the modern Syrian nationality) rather than Arabs.

One might aver: If the Lebanese Christian (Maronites) don’t want to be called Arab, then they are not Arab.  The problem is these Maronites will bring in Arabic cuisine, Arabic music, Arabic dance, and even speak Arabic, which belies their refusal to be considered as Arabic. They were often the initial introduction of Arab culture to any country in the Western Hemisphere, but they confound statisticians with their refusal to identify themselves as Arabs. Given their history, one may understand why, but it is very frustrating when one has to compile the statistics.


Lebanese really like to assimilate, but in their weaker moments, their Arab identity slips out.
Uncle Tonoose on Danny Thomas (who was of Maronite extraction) show


May 11, 2017 – Edited: Updated figures and texts.

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

1941 Social Guide to the Arab Colony in Chile

guidebook_arab_colony_chile

Social Guide to the Arab Colony in Chile
Syrian – Palestinian – Lebanese

Notice: It was published in 1941, under the Auspices of The Palestinian Club. This community was already rich and influential by the 1940s.

Notice also that they did not call themselves South Syrians.  I have nothing against Israel, but the Palestinians had a Palestinian identity by that time. It was not invented in 1964 as some claim it was. Look at the booklet cover. It says Palestina, not Sursiria (South Syrian).  Palestinian is clearly called out as their identity.

Again, it is not anti-Israel to admit the truth. They had a collective identity even by that early date.

From the National Library of Chile

 

Friday, August 5th, 2016

History and Faiza Al Manzur Dancing at Lebanese Club, Uruguay

Posted on YouTube: Aug 5, 2016

At Punta Pocitos (a barrio in Montevideo), Uruguay.

The dancer is: Faiza Al Manzur

Her website is: www.faizaalmanzur.com

Her Facebook Link: (Click Here)

I really recommend seeing her website and facebook page.

Miss Al Manzur can usually be found at the Lebanese Club of Uruguay.

The Lebanese Club has a long history in Uruguay. It goes back to 1905, when Uruguay set out to outlaw Asian immigration, which would have prohibited Arab immigration. By that time, yes, even that early, the Lebanese and Syrian community in Uruguay was large enough to intervene and get an exemption for Syrians and Lebanese.

This is their history page (In Spanish). Be aware, however, it is connected with the Lebanese Embassy in Uruguay.

The point is: Even as early as 1905, there was a powerful Arab community in Uruguay.

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