Latin Arabia

A World You Never Knew Existed

Monday, May 8th, 2017

Chile’s Palestino Soccer Club Goes To The Holy Land


Published on YouTube: Mar 30, 2017

This Chilean Soccer (they would say: futbol) team now has an international following. Very popular with the Palestinians in the contested areas.

Monday, May 8th, 2017

The Skin of Palestine


Posted on Vimeo: January 22, 2017

Remember that even though the Palestinians in Chile tend to be radicalized against Israel regarding the Mideast, they are otherwise quite Christian, prosperous, upper middle class, and intergrated well into Chilean life. They would be a perfect immigrant group, except that they can mix support for the Intifada with their sports.

Baisanos – Chilean Soccer Intifada

Their fans call themselves Baisanos, which is a mispronunciation of Paisanos (Spanish: countrymen), because their Arab ancestors could not pronounce the letter P.

There was a massive immigration of Arabs to South America in the late 19th, and early to mid-20th century. Quite often, the impetus was persecution at the hands of the Muslims. There was a near genocide of Lebanese Christians at the hands of Muslims around 1860. The vast majority of Arab immigrants to South America were Christians. The few Muslims among the immigrants often converted to Christianity or married into it.

What distinguishes Chile (and Hondouras) is that Chile took in a large amount of Palestinians. Other nations took in Syrian or Lebanese Christians. Today, many of these Chilean “Palestinos” are part-Spanish, part-Italian, part-Basque, or part-German in blood. They are upper middle-class in Chile, and hold great economic and political power well above their percentage of the population.

The Chilean soccer team, Palestino, has a popular following in the contested areas.

What this means is that Arabs blend in well in South America, at least the Christian ones.

Monday, May 8th, 2017

Aljazeera on Palestinians of Chile

SOURCE: ALJAZEERA January 15, 2017

Chile: Palestinians gather to forge unified diaspora
‘Developing international leaders is going to help us to achieve things, but it won’t happen overnight.’

Santiago, Chile – In Santiago’s Patronato neighbourhood, the green, red, white and black of the Palestinian flag can be found on almost every corner. The words “Free Palestine” are etched on restaurants selling falafel and shawarma. The heady aroma of cardamom coffee drifts from corner bakeries serving baklava and the best pitta and rugag bread in town.

Chile is home to the largest – and one of the oldest – Palestinian immigrant communities outside of the Arab world. An estimated 350,000 immigrants and their descendants live here.

(Read More)

Now, the happy thing is that almost all of Chile’s Palestinians are Christians, are prosperous, and are well assimilated in Chile. This is so common of much of South America’s Arabs. South America should be encouraged – with compensation, of course – to take in some of the Arabs from the contested areas.

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