Palestinian American

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Edward Said
John E. Sununu
Dean Obeidallah
John H. Sununu
Naomi Shihab Nye
Justin Amash
DJ Khaled
Nathalie Handal
Hazem Farraj
Naseer Aruri
Oday Aboushi
Hanni El Khatib
Susan Abulhawa
Hashem El-Serag
Ramsey Nijem
Total population
83,241 (2006-10 American Community Survey)[1]
Regions with significant populations
Northern New Jersey and New York City Metropolitan Area; also Michigan, California, Texas, Pennsylvania, Arizona
American English
Palestinian Arabic
Christianity (Eastern Orthodox, Catholic) and
Islam (Sunni)
Related ethnic groups
Jordanian Americans, Syrian Americans, Lebanese Americans, and other groups from the Levant

Palestinian Americans (Arabic: الأميركيون الفلسطينيون‎) are Americans of Palestinian ancestry. It is difficult to say when the first Palestinian immigrants arrived in the United States; however, many of the first immigrants to arrive were Christians escaping persecution from the Ottoman Empire in the late 19th century. Others came as a result of the tension during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War and the 1967 Six-Day War.


The New York City Metropolitan Area, including Northern New Jersey, is home to the largest Palestinian population in the United States.

The first Palestinians who emigrated to the United States arrived after 1908 and were Christians. Later the first Palestinian Muslims emigrated to the United States. Palestinian emigration began to reduce since 1924, with the law limiting the number of immigrants, as well as the Great Depression. The population began to increase after World War II: the Arab-Israeli War, the Nakba, and the foundation of the state of Israel in 1948 caused many Palestinian to immigrate, most as refugees. However, the greatest wave of Palestinian immigration began in 1967 after the Six-Day War, or as Arabs call it the June War. This wave of immigrants reached its peak in the 1980s. Most Palestinians that immigrated to the United States in this period were more educated than the Palestinians that arrived until 1967, thanks to the schools sponsored by the ONU and the increased of the university in the Middle East.[2]


Paterson, New Jersey, within the New York metropolitan area, is home to Little Istanbul or Little Ramallah,[3][4] the largest Palestinian American and Turkish American enclave.

Many Palestinians settled down in the metropolitan areas of New York City and Paterson[3][4] in Northern New Jersey, as well as California, Phoenix, Miami, Chicago, Detroit, and Cleveland alongside other Mediterranean communities, including the Lebanese, Syrians, Greeks, Italians, Egyptians and Turks.

According to the 2000 United States Census, there were 72,112 people of Palestinian ancestry living in the United States, increasing to 83,241 by the 2006-2010 American Community Survey.[1]


In the United States approximately 46% of Palestinians have obtained at least a college degree, compared to 18% of the American population.[5] The study of culture and the Arabic language is increasingly important among Palestinians, especially in college and graduate school. Thus, also some Palestinian or Arab organizations are working to monitor and improve the teaching of Arab history and culture in the American schools.[2]

Language and culture[edit]

Palestinian culture is a blend of Eastern Mediterranean influences. Palestinians share commonalities with nearby Levantine peoples, including Israelis and Jews, Egyptians, Lebanese, Syrians, and Jordanians. Palestinians speak Palestinian Arabic.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Total and Arab Population and Households by Selected Arab Ancestry Group: 2006–2010". United States Census Bureau. 2014-07-19. Retrieved 2014-07-19. 
  2. ^ a b Palestinian Americans by Ken Kurson. Retrieved December 07, 2011, to 19:11 pm.
  3. ^ a b Hannan Adely (2014-07-19). "Hundreds of Palestinians rally in Paterson in protest of Israeli military campaign". North Jersey Media Group. Retrieved 2014-07-19. 
  4. ^ a b Richard Cowen (2014-05-18). "Paterson's Palestinians celebrate annual flag-raising at City Hall". North Jersey Media Group. Retrieved 2014-07-19. 
  5. ^ Educational Attainment in the United States: 2012 - USCB. Retrieved June 25, 2013.

External links[edit]