Middle East Council in America
MECC: Middle East Artifact
Backgammon board. Lebanon. Private Collection.

The Arab World in American Society

Today, we are a part of the American success story. The Arab American community is an example of contributions an ethnic group can make when it has access to the economic and political life of this country. We are a diverse people, 3 million strong, coming from all areas of the region that make up the Arab World. We are Christians and Muslims. We are Syrians, Lebanese, Egyptians, Palestinians, Iraqis, Jordanians, and Yemenis- from North Africa to Southwest Asia.

Since the onset of Arab immigration to America over one hundred years ago, most in our community have assimilated into the mainstream of U.S. life... a rich heritage and culture, a strong extended family network, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a creative drive for excellence has enabled us to enrich America and its people.

Arab Americans number more than three million people. Businessmen and women, entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers, professors, authors, journalists, engineers and entertainers, they head large corporations, influence the arts, play important roles in all levels of government and help make national policy. They farm, fix shoes, repair cars, deliver mail, and work as stenographers, bank clerks, nurses, cooks teachers, librarians, waiters and shopkeepers. The first known philanthropic organization established in American was the Near East Society.

Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country... A famous quote by an Irish-American president, John F. Kennedy that inspired an entire generation, was first written by the Arab American author of "The Prophet": Kahlil Gibran beautifully expressed 70 years ago.

From "Arab Americans Making a Difference"
Arab American Institute Foundation

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