Palestinian American

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Edward Said
John E. Sununu
Dean Obeidallah
John H. Sununu
Naomi Shihab Nye
Justin Amash
Casey Kasem
DJ Khaled
Nathalie Handal
Ralph Bakshi
Total population
Regions with significant populations
North Jersey and New York metropolitan area; also Michigan, California, Texas, Pennsylvania, Arizona
American English
Palestinian Arabic
Predominantly Christians and Muslims; some Jewish
Related ethnic groups
Israeli Americans, Jewish Americans, Jordanian Americans, Syrian Americans, Lebanese Americans, Turkish Americans and other groups from the Levant

Palestinian Americans (Arabic: الأميركيون الفلسطينيون‎) (Hebrew: אמריקאים פלסטיניים‎) are Americans of Palestinian ancestry. It is difficult to say when the first Palestinian immigrants arrived at 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 metropolitan area, including North 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 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.[3]


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

Many Palestinians settled down in the metropolitan areas of New York City, Paterson in Northern New Jersey, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, Miami, Chicago, Detroit, and Cleveland alongside other Mediterranean communities, including the Lebanese, Syrians, Turks, Greeks, Italians, and Egyptians.

According to the 2000 United States Census, there were 72,112 people of Palestinian ancestry living in the United States. However, The Arab American Institute Foundation estimates the figure at 252,000 while the Palestinian American Council puts it at 179,000 (1999).

It is clearly understood that Palestinians, most of them practicing Christians of the Eastern Orthodox variety established large communities in the Americas, among them Chile in South America.


In the United States approximately 46% of Palestinians have at least a college degree, compared to 18% of the American population.[4] 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.[3]

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. ^ "The Arab Population: 2000". US Census. December 2003. Retrieved 25 January 2014. 
  2. ^ The Arab American Institute Foundation
  3. ^ a b Palestinian Americans by Ken Kurson. Retrieved December 07, 2011, to 19:11 pm.
  4. ^ Educational Attainment in the United States: 2012 - USCB. Retrieved June 25, 2013.

External links[edit]