Lebanese immigration to Mexico

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Lebanese Mexican
Mexicano de origen Libanés
مكسيكي لبناني
Salma Hayek Cannes 2010.jpgCarlos Slim Helú.jpgAlfredo Harp Helu.jpg
Miguel Sabah crop.jpgMiguel Layun.jpg
Susana Harp.jpg
Total population
1,100,000 Mexican of Lebanese descent
1%-2% of Mexico's population
700,000 Mexican with actual links to Lebanese society, embassy and culture[1]
Regions with significant populations
Baja California, Coahuila, Jalisco, Sinaloa, Mexico City, Veracruz, Guanajuato, Chihuahua, Durango, Puebla
Mexican Spanish, Lebanese Arabic
Predominantly Christianity, minority Islam
Related ethnic groups
Lebanese, Spanish Mexicans

A Lebanese Mexican is a Mexican citizen of Lebanese origin.

Interethnic marriage in the Lebanese community, regardless of religious affiliation, is very high; most community members have only one parent who has Lebanese ethnicity. As a result of this, the Lebanese community in Mexico 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. Today, the most common Lebanese surnames in Mexico include Nader, Hayek, Ali, Haddad, Nasser, Malik, Salazar, Bisteni, Abed, Farha (Farah), Slim, Diab, Khoury, Jabara (Gabara), Fares, Micha, Font Manzur, Abud, Bichir, Kuri, Henaine and Harb.

Migration history[edit]

Lebanese immigration to Mexico started in the 19th and early 20th centuries.[2] In 1892, First Lebaneses who arrived in Mexico, from Beirut in French ships to Mexican ports as Puerto Progreso, Veracruz and Tampico. At that time there was no Lebanon as an independent nation, the territory was held by the Ottoman Empire that later became a French protectorate. Roughly 100,000 Arabic-speakers settled in Mexico during this time period. They settled in significant numbers in Nayarit, Puebla, Mexico City and the Northern part of the country (mainly in the states of Baja California, Nuevo Leon, Sinaloa, Chihuahua, Coahuila, and Durango, as well as the city of Tampico and Guadalajara). Many Lebanese came to the United States via Mexico in early 19th century according Wichita's Lebanese Heritage book. People lived in Wichita, Kansas who have Lebanese ancestry related lost Lebanese families in Mexico also Argentina and Brazil. Lebaneses in United States, Mexico and Argentina come from same small towns of Jezzine, Ain Ebel, Marjeyoun, and Mhaithe in South Lebanon.

During the 1948 Israel-Lebanon war and the Six-Day War, thousands of Lebanese left Lebanon and went to Mexico, first arriving in Veracruz. Although Lebanese made up less than 5% of the total immigrant population in Mexico during the 1930s, they constituted half of the immigrant economic activity.[3]

Another concentration of Lebanese-Mexicans is in Baja California facing the US-Mexican border, esp. in cities of Mexicali in the Imperial Valley US/Mexico, and Tijuana across from San Diego with a large Lebanese American community (about 280,000), some of whose families have relatives in Mexico.

Lebanese Culture In Mexico[edit]

Image of Saint Charbel in a Roman Catholic church in San Luis Potosí, San Luis Potosí.
Statue with prayer requests at the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral

Inside the Lebanese culture of Mexico itself is to place colored ribbons to the image of St. Charbel to ask some favor or some miracle and thank tradition arose in the Candelaria Church in Merced in the Historic Center of Mexico City.

Immigration of Lebanese in Mexico has influenced Mexican culture, in particular food, where they have introduced Kibbeh, Tabbouleh and even created recipes such as Tacos Árabes. By 1765, Dates, which originated in North Africa and the Middle East, were introduced into Mexico by the Spaniards. The fusion between Arab and Mexican food has highly influenced the Yucatecan cuisine.

Within the film highlighted the presence Lebanese as the movie portrays the Baisano Jalil, represented by Joaquin Pardavé.


The majority of Lebanese-Mexicans are Christians who belong to the Maronite Church, Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Melkite Catholic. The Lebanese initially Catholicism practiced independently from other Mexican, but Lebanese learned to speak Spanish and Lebanese-Mexican children were quickly joined the country's religious activities. A scant number are Lebanese Muslims settled in Mexico, will give this led to the opening of the first mosque in Mexico. This was built in the city of Torreon, in Coahuila, and named Suraya, it was attended mostly Muslim Shi'ite immigrants recently in 1930, the Lebanese and Syrians were the ones who founded the first Islamic community in Mexico.

Lebanese Embassy in Mexico City.

Notable people[edit]

Please see List of Lebanese people in Mexico

See also[edit]


External links[edit]