A Lebanese Argentine is an Argentine citizen of Lebanese descent or a Lebanon-born person who resides in Argentina. Many of the Lebanese Argentines are descendants of immigrants, largely of Arab cultural and linguistic heritage and/or identity, originating from what is now Lebanon.
Although a highly diverse group of Argentines — in ancestral origins, religion and historic identities — Lebanese Argentines hold a heritage that shares common linguistic, cultural, and political traditions.
The majority of the 1.5 million Lebanese Argentines are Christians, the Muslims being a small minority in comparison to them. The interethnic marriage in the Lebanese community, regardless of religious affiliation, is very high; most community members have only one parent who has Arab ethnicity. As a result of this, the Lebanese community in Argentina shows marked language shift away from Arabic. Only a few speak any Arabic, and such knowledge is often limited to a few basic words. Instead the majority, especially those of younger generations, speak Spanish as a first language.
Lebanese Argentines during the Festival of the Communities in Trelew, Chubut.
In the 19th century, the first Lebanese settled in Argentina. From 1891 to 1920, 367,348 people of Arabic heritage immigrated into Argentina. When they were first processed in the ports of Argentina, they were classified as Turks because what is modern day Lebanon was a territory of the Turkish Ottoman Empire. The causes for Lebanese to leave their homeland were an accelerated increase in demographics in Lebanon, the persecution by the Ottoman Turks, and the Italo-Turkish War. The Lebanese immigrants settle in the provinces of Buenos Aires, Cordoba, Salta, Tucumán , La Rioja, San Juan, Mendoza, Santiago del Estero, Misiones, Chaco, and the Patagonia. A large percentage of Lebanese settled in the Cuyo region (which is made up of the provinces of San Juan, San Luis, Mendoza, and La Rioja)