Ecuador

From Wikipedia (Click Here)

The number of Lebanese descendants in Ecuador is not too clear. A 1982 estimate from Lebanon’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated 20,000, while another private estimate from 1986 put it as high as 97,500.[4] They reside mostly in Quito and Guayaquil. They are predominantly of the Christian Catholic faith.

There seems to be no figures for Arabs (in general) in Ecuador. Rather what shows up is Lebanese.

Again, we see that Lebanese (especially the Maronite Catholics) set the tone for most of Latin America.

There may be no significant Arab population other than Lebanese.

What is amazing is that Ecuador has had 3 presidents of Lebanese descent.

From Wikipedia (Click Here)
People of Lebanese background are very well represented in business and politics of the country. Some of them have reached the presidency and vice-presidency of Ecuador. Their prominence in politics provoked some backlash, with one politician warning of the “Bedouinization” of Ecuador.

  • Julio Teodoro Salem was President for a short interim period in May 1944 before election of José María Velasco Ibarra.
  • Abdalá Bucaram was elected President from August 10, 1996 to February 6, 1997. However he was highly unpopular and Parliament dismissed him because of “mental disability”. He was accused also of embezzlement of public funds and replaced by Rosalía Arteaga.
  • Yet a third President of the Republic was Jamil Mahuad. He served from August 10, 1998 to January 21, 2000 when he was forced to resign after a week of demonstrations by indigenous Ecuadorians and a military revolt led by Lucio Gutiérrez.
  • Alberto Dahik, a Finance Minister and member of the Ecuadoran. He was a running mate of Sixto Durán Ballén and upon victory in the elections, served Vice Presidency to Sixto Durán Ballén for period 1992 to 1995

Their record of performance is mixed; but remember that the Lebanese are less than 1% of the population of Ecuador. Again, they are elites, even if their record is spotty.

President Jamil Mahuad was Catholic, though his father was Muslim. Some sites report him as Muslim; but that does not make sense given that he was half-German on his mother’s side. He was probably Catholic.

His full name was Jamil Mahuad Witt. The Witt was his mother’s maiden name. In Spanish, it is common to append the mother’s surname out of respect, though it may not be used for official documents.