Arabs in Europe
|European languages, Arabic|
with Christian and Jewish minorities
|Related ethnic groups|
Arabs in Europe are people of Arab descent living in Europe. Several million Arabs are residents in Europe. They form part of what is sometimes called the "Arab diaspora", i.e. ethnic Arabs outside the Arab World. Most of the Arabs in Europe are from the Maghreb.
The current estimate of the Arab population in Europe is approximately 5 million, mostly concentrated in France, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Spain, Greece and Denmark. The majority of migrants come from Morocco (1.4 million), Algeria (1.3 million), Tunisia (950,000), Lebanon (700,000), Palestine (700,000), Syria (350,000), Iraq (250,000), Egypt (220,000), Jordan (150,000), Yemen (150,000), Libya (100,000) and Sudan (100,000).
Most Arabs in Europe are followers of Islam but there is also a sizable Arab Christian community living in Europe. For example, almost half of Lebanese immigrants are Christian. Moreover, Arab Christians are more likely to seek refugee status than Arab Muslims.
Arab occupation of Europe
Arabs in Europe have a history beginning with the Arab Empire, which conquered the Iberian peninsula, including what is now Spain and Portugal, in 711 AD. Other Arabs occupied the Italian island of Sicily from 831 to 1072. Arabs were later expelled from those domains after the Reconquista and the Catholic Church's Inquisition of non-believers. Nevertheless, many of the people in the Iberian peninsula today retain some genetic ties to the Arabs that controlled these territories in the past. The most recent and thorough study about Arab influence in the Iberian Peninsula was conducted April 2013 by Pompeu Fabra University using genome-wide SNP data for over 2000 individuals. This study concluded that the Iberian Peninsula holds significantly higher levels of Arab ancestry than the rest of the European continent with a sharp difference between the Iberia and France. Estimates of shared ancestry with Arab populations were found to be much higher than previously reported, accounting for up to 20% of individual genomes, whereas these do not exceed 2% in Southern European populations outside Spain and Portugal and are practically inexistent north of the Pyrenees. Genetic markers found mainly in people of the Middle East are slightly higher in European territories where the Arabs once ruled, but are still a small minority especially outside of the Iberian Peninsula. There were also brief periods of independent Arab-Islamic colonization and occupation, in modern-day France, Switzerland, and Italy, using Fraxinet in the Gulf of St. Tropez as a base for raids and colonisation.
The post-World War II migration of Arabs to Europe began as many Arabs from former French colonies like Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Lebanon and Syria migrated permanently to France. Also another source of migration began with guest workers, particularly from Morocco, who arrived under the terms of a Labour Export Agreements between several European countries including Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria and France. Also other events in the Arab world sent new immigration waives to Europe like the Palestinian exodus, the Lebanese Civil War, the first and second Iraq war, Libyan civil war and Syrian civil war. Many other Arabs immigrated to Europe because of political issues in their native countries. Another source of migration are Arabs who studied in European universities and decided to stay.
After the 2011 events of the Arab Spring in Tunisia and Libya, around 20,000 Tunisian and also Libyan immigrants have left their countries for France and Germany, migrating through Italy. Nicolas Sarkozy together with Angela Merkel have recommended suspending the Schengen Agreement and imposing border control in order to keep the Arabs from migrating to their countries, but no actions have yet been taken on the issue. Currently, Italy and Greece continue to receive migration waves from Egypt and Syria since the violence in these two Arab countries escalated in 2013.
- Arabs in France (Beur)
- British Arabs
- Arabs in Germany
- Arab Dutch
- Swedish Arabs
- Arabs in Bulgaria
- Arabs in Romania
- Arabs in Greece
- Islam in Europe
- Arab European League
- Immigration to Europe
- Turks in Europe
- Intra-Regional Labour Mobility in the Arab World, Facts and Figures, International Organization for Migration, 2010, retrieved 2010-07-21
- Robert W. Lebling (September/October 2009). "The Saracens of St.Tropez". Saudi Aramco World. Retrieved 16 December 2010.
- Six Egyptian migrants drown on 20-metre swim from boat to Sicily beach. Fishing boat carrying more than 100 migrants from Egypt and Syria ran aground on a sandbar near the Lido Verde resort