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Arab diaspora refers to the numbers of Arab immigrants, and their descendants, who voluntarily or as refugees emigrated from their native countries and now reside in non-Arab nations, primarily in Latin America and Europe, as well as North America, parts of Asia, the Caribbeanmarker, and West Africa.

Overview

Large numbers of Arabs migrated to West Africa, particularly in the Ivory Coastmarker (home to over 100,000 Lebanese), Senegalmarker (roughly 30,000 Lebanese), Sierra Leonemarker (roughly 10,000 Lebanese today; about 30,000 prior to the outbreak of civil war in 1991), Liberiamarker, and Nigeriamarker. Since the end of the civil war in 2002, Lebanese traders have become re-established in Sierra Leone.

Arab traders have long operated in Southeast Asia, trading in spices, timber and textiles. But an important trading minority in the region that goes largely unrecognised comprises the local descendants of Arabs. Most of the prominent Indonesians, Malaysiansmarker and Singaporeans of Arab descent have their origins in the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula, especially the coastal Hadhramaut region of Yemenmarker and Omanmarker. They are the Hadramismarker. As many as 4 million Indonesians are of Hadrami descent and today there are almost 10,000 Hadramis in Singaporemarker.

The Americas have long been a destination for Arab migration, with Arabs arriving in some countries at least as early as the nineteenth century, but even as early as 1492 with several Moors among Christopher Columbus' crew . The largest concentration of Arabs outside the Middle East is in Brazilmarker, which has over 12 million Brazilians of Arab ancestry. Of these 12 million Brazilian Arabs, over 9 million are of Lebanesemarker ancestry, making Brazil's population of Lebanese three times greater than that of Lebanonmarker. Most other Brazilians of Arab descent are mainly Syrianmarker. There are also large Arab communities in Mexicomarker (about 400,000 Mexicans of Lebanese descent), Argentinamarker, Chilemarker, Colombiamarker, Jamaicamarker, Dominican Republicmarker, Haitimarker, Trinidad & Tobagomarker, Ecuadormarker, and Venezuelamarker. Palestinians cluster in Chilemarker and Central America, particularly El Salvadormarker and Hondurasmarker (between 150,000 and 200,000). The 500,000 strong Palestinian community in Chilemarker is the fourth largest in the world after those in Israel, Lebanon and Jordan. Arab Haitians (in which a large number live in the capital) are more often than not, concentrated in financial areas where the majority of them establish businesses. In the United Statesmarker there are around 3.5 million people of Arab ancestry. Most Arabs of the Americas are of either Lebanese, Syrian, or Palestinian ancestry and are mostly Christian, with sizeable minorities of Jews and Muslims, as well..

The Lebanese diaspora, while historically trade-related, has more recently been linked to the Lebanese Civil War and the 2006 Lebanon War. In October 2006, shortly after the war between Hezbollah and Israelmarker had concluded, the Edinburgh Middle East Report ran an article covering the brain drain from Lebanon's universities. Increasing numbers of Lebanese students are travelling abroad to further their education in safer environments.

As of June 21, 2007, the U.N. High Commissioner on Refugees estimated that over 2.2 million Iraqis had been displaced to neighboring countries, with up to 100,000 Iraqis fleeing to Syriamarker and Jordanmarker each month. As a result of growing international pressure, on June 1, 2007 the Bush administration said it was ready to admit 7,000 Iraqi refugees who had helped the coalition since the invasion. According to Washingtonmarker based Refugees International the U.S. has admitted fewer than 800 Iraqi refugees since the invasion, Swedenmarker had accepted 18,000 and Australia had resettled almost 6,000.

In Francemarker, the Benelux countries, Spainmarker, Germanymarker and much of the rest of Europe, the Arab communities are of North African origin, particularly Algeriamarker, Moroccomarker and Tunisiamarker, and are mostly Muslim with a minority of Jews and Christians. About 80,000 Iraqis live in Swedenmarker, formingthe country’s second largest immigrant group. An estimated 1,000,000 Arabs live in the United Kingdommarker representing 1.7% of the country's population, the vast majority of these originate from the Middle East (250,000 Iraqis live in the UK) and Egypt (some 150,000).

There is also a medium sized Arab community in Australia (home to roughly 400,000 Arabs, mostly Lebanese), where Arabic is the fourth most widely spoken second-language. The number of Muslim and Christian Arab Australians are roughly equal with a slight upper hand to Christians. See Australian population: ethnic origins.[89637]

Challenges

There are no exact figures of how many Arabs live in diaspora (expatriates). There are many challenges facing Arabs in diaspora, especially in the post 9/11 world:

First: Suspicion of Arabs and Muslims has increased dramatically. Racism towards Arabs has reached new heights.

Second: Another delicate issue for the Diaspora Arabs is the relationship with motherlands and/or fatherlands. These challenges depend on which generation of Arab immigrants we are talking about. Usually, the first generation are caught between a love for the motherland that on one hand increased by leaps and bounds following immigration and fueled mainly by nostalgia and a certain degree of “culture shock,” and resentment stemming from feeling driven out by unfavorable circumstances.

Third: After an initial period of “shock,” the first generation Arab immigrants may start the slow process of acculturation/assimilation.

Notable persons

Prominent members of the Arab diaspora include;

See also





External links



References


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