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Church Planting resources arranged by topic
Unique people group resources and places in need of churches
Arab immigration to the United States has come in two great waves. The
first occured around the turn of the century, when members of every class,
profession, and trade began immigrating to seek new life and new opportunities
These immigrants retained some of their cultural heritage, but were also quick
to assimilate into the American culture. Language and ethnic identity
gave way to new realities as these immigrants made their way in the "new
world." Arab-American communities were built around a network of peddlers
The second wave of Arab immigration -- due to political turmoil in the Middle
East following World War II -- continues even now. Palestinians,
Egyptians, Lebanese, and others are among these new immigrants. Indeed,
Arab-Americans appear to be among the fastest growing immigrant groups,
settling in New York City, Northern New Jersey, Detroit, Dearborn, Chicago, Los
Angeles, and Southern California. This postwar group is comprised of
those with college degrees or those who have come to earn them.
Like other groups relatively small in numbers, Arab-Americans have not
always been visible to other Americans. There are older immigrants, many
who entered the mainstream and did well for themselves. Many of these
placed assimilation above ethnic identification. Newer immigrants are
more ethnically conscious than their forebearers. They seem to be more
politically vocal as well. This group has demonstrated the possibilities
and potential of an organized constituency.
Increased visibility has sparked a greater interest in Arab-Americans within
the community. It is vital this interest be satisfied with readable,
scientific information to block the stereotypes created by negative images
found in recent pop-culture. Since the 1970s, particularly since
September 11, there has been a uniquely negative atmosphere for Arab-American
descendants. Documenting the Arab-American experience has been
politically imperative -- a defense tool against ignorance and hostility.
The 1980s saw spectacular strides for Arab-Americans:
• A growing number of public figures were willing to call themselves
"Arab-American." As a result, several nationally-based Arab-American
organizations were formed. One such organization is the Arab-American
Institute, which serves as a clearinghouse and leader training organization for
Arab-Americans interested in working within the electoral process.
• There was an increased presence and welcoming of Arab-Americans into
• Some important posts held by Arab-Americans included White House Chief of
Staff and U.S. Senate Majority Leader.
• Arab-Americans became highly visible in the entertainment and sports
industries. Celebrities include: Casey Kasem, Moustapha Akkad, Paula
Abdul, f. Murray Abraham, Danny Thomas, Jamie Farr, Doug Flutie, and Rony
About half of today's Arab-Americans descend from immigrants who came
between 1890-1940. The other half have come since World War II.
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