Latin Arabia

A World You Never Knew Existed

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

South America Taking in Syrians

South America Welcomes Syrian Refugees
US News & World Report
Sept 30, 2015

… countries such as Argentina are receiving praise for their open-door policies.

… Compared to Europe, South America receives just a fraction of the people fleeing conflict from the Middle East … But the continent is increasingly becoming a destination for refugees. Venezuela announced in September that it would accept 20,000 Syrians, while Chile said it would accept 50 Syrian families. Argentina and Uruguay also have installed programs to accept Syrians.

(Read More)

South America has a history of absorbing large numbers of Arabs and assimilating them. It only makes sense that some refugees from Syria would be making their way to the continent.

In the past, most Arab immigrants to South America have been Christian. This new batch of refugees will be mostly Muslim. Hopefully, things will go well. We can only hope they assimilate.

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

Tamara, the woman behind Syrian refugees

Tamara, the woman behind Syrian refugees in Argentina

Tamara Lalli brings an anecdote by the Santiago del Estero-born percussionist Domingo Cura. The story goes that on Sundays the ground in the Argentine Northern province moves down because Syrian women are cooking the traditional Middle East Kibbe dish as they rhythmically pound the meat and wheat using their pestles and mortars.


But the homeland Tamara was born in and left when she was 11 years old is changing forcing thousands to flee across its borders and seek refuge in the Southern part of the world as rebel groups continue to defy the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

New immigration: The exodus

Only in the past two years Argentina has received more than 300 Syrian families most of them staying in Buenos Aires. Although visa procedures might turn “bureaucratic”, the South American country is among the few granting assistance to those swelling in the list of this 21st century exodus. “In Europe this is impossible”, Tamara affirms and adds that Arab neighboring countries have long decided to reject entry to her countrymen.

The Syrian-Lebanese community in Argentina accounts actually for around10 percent of the country’s 40-million population.

Tamara Lalli is the daughter of Toufic, a Syrian-Lebanese who married Neife, an Argentinean descendant from Syrians. She was born in Yabrud located 80 km north of the capital Damascus. She has two sisters. A non-practicing Muslim, she married an Argentine Christian and allowed her two daughters to choose their own religion. “One is a Christian, the other one is still thinking about it”, Tamara says.

(Read more)

Clearly, this women assimilated; and so did her daughters, one of whom has already chosen Christianity.

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

Syrians Flee to South America

Some stories

Syrian refugee flees all the way to Colombia to escape the violence at home
24 June 2013

BOGOTA, Colombia, June 24 (UNHCR) – Millions of Syrians have been displaced internally by their civil war or fled abroad, but few have gone as far as Ahmed to escape the violence. Now he is a refugee in Bogota, learning Spanish so he can support himself in Colombia.

(Read more)

Argentina: An Exile Destination for Syrians Escaping the Conflict
14 February 2013

The ongoing political conflict in Syria, opposing rebel factions to government forces, has generated an influx of Syrian immigrants to Argentina since its beginning in 2011. Due to the existence of an important Syrian community in the country, many of those who had relatives here chose Argentina as their exile destination, as the lack of security and the paralysation of the economic activity in Syria obliged many families to leave their homeland.

Since the beginning of the conflict, the Argentine consulate in Damascus has seen the number of demands for visas increase by 40%.

(Read more)

Published on YouTube on Sep 5, 2013

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