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The Making of Arab Americans

From Syrian Nationalism to U.S. Citizenship

By Hani Bawardi

Publication Year: 2014

Using previously untapped archives to reclaim a forgotten history, this groundbreaking study traces Arab American advocacy to the early twentieth century, when mass immigration as a result of Arab grievances with Ottoman Turks fostered a unified Arab American political identity.

Published by: University of Texas Press

Title Page, Frontispiece, Copyright Page, Dedication, Quote

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xii

Meaningful research on the Arabic-speaking pioneers in the United States can take place only if their stories are faithfully captured. It is my privilege and honor to be entrusted by Roy (Rushd) Farah with the manuscripts of his father, Ameen Farah (1888– 1975). I am deeply indebted to Roy and his wife...

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Note on Arabic Names and Terms

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pp. xiii-xvi

Whenever possible, I have tried to explain variations in the names of organizations depending on differences in translation styles. Sometimes the founders themselves chose names for their organizations not consistent with accurate translation. For example, Jamʿiyat al-Nahḍah al-Filasṭtīnīyah...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-38

A portrait of Ameen Farah (1888– 1975), who immigrated from Nazareth to the United States in 1913, is displayed occasionally at the Arab American National Museum (AANM) in Dearborn, Michigan. Th e attractive displays in this museum, which opened in 2005 across from Dearborn’s city...

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1. Arab Populations under Ottoman Rule: A Background

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pp. 39-53

The Ottomans succeeded in expanding their rule over Arab populations partially because they understood the role of Islam in the lives of their subjects. The Turks appealed to the predominantly Muslim Arab populations by professing to be the new guardians of Islam and its holy sites and...

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2. The Syrian Nationalism of the Mahjar Press

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pp. 54-80

The content of the Arabic-language press is beginning to attract some attention, however disjointed, by a few of scholars of Arab American history. This is no surprise given that the journalistic output is one of the only primary sources outside a scattering of original records and letters of the first...

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3. Soldiers for Syria before World War I: The Free Syria Society

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pp. 81-103

Najīb Diāb, publisher and editor of Mirāt al-Gharb newspaper in New York City, reported in May 1913 about a formal request by student activists in France to hold a conference for Arab nationalists. The request was sent to the Higher Committee of the Ottoman Administrative Decentralization...

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4. The “Syria Idea” and the New Syria Party

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pp. 104-158

Amid the uncertainty surrounding the fate of Syria during World War I, most Syrians supported U.S. entry into the war hoping it would mitigate European ambitions and bring Syria closer to self-determination. They hoped rising American prestige, backed by a foreign policy committed to national...

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5. The Mandate Years and the Diaspora: The Arab National League and a Historical Context for Arab American Narrative

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pp. 159-189

On August 6, 1936, three months after the largest Palestinian revolt until that time culminated in a prolonged general strike, the founding of the Arab National League was reported in a communiqué in the Arabic- language publication Al-Sa'eh.1 The ANL was replacing the Arab Renaissance Society...

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6. The Arab National League and the Emergence of Arab American Identity

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pp. 190-238

The Arab National League disseminated hundreds of copies of an Arabiclanguage pamphlet titled “Bayān al-Jāmiah al-Arabīyah” (Statement [or pronouncement] of the Arab [National] League) in 1937. The short reader explained the organization’s principles and sought members in Michigan...

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7. The Institute of Arab American Affairs: Arab Americans and the New World Order

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pp. 239-295

Prolonged and severe immigration restrictions from 1924 to 1965 were a factor preventing meaningful contacts between the two major waves of Arab immigrants. As a result, a chronic detachment rendered illusive any coherent Arab American narrative. Fifteen years separate the Institute of...

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Conclusion

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pp. 296-306

Much has changed since the demise of the Institute of Arab American Affairs, yet two generations removed, every contemporary secular and Islamic organization with Arab American membership still espouses the institute’s goals and objectives. The American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee...

Notes

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pp. 307-348

Bibliography

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pp. 349-362

Index

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pp. 363-382


E-ISBN-13: 9780292759930
E-ISBN-10: 0292759932
Print-ISBN-13: 9780292757486
Print-ISBN-10: 0292757484

Page Count: 398
Illustrations: 48 b/w illus.
Publication Year: 2014

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • Arab Americans -- Politics and government -- 20th century.
  • Arab Americans -- Societies, etc. -- History -- 20th century.
  • Arab Americans -- History -- 20th century.
  • Arab Americans -- Ethnic identity.
  • Arab nationalism -- History -- 20th century.
  • Syria -- Emigration and immigration.
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