Arab diaspora

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Arab Diaspora
العرب المغتربون
Total population
According to the International Organization for Migration, there are 13 million Arab migrants, of whom 5.8 million reside in Arab countries.
Regions with significant populations
 Brazil 10,000,000[1]
 France 5,880,000[2]
 Indonesia 5,000,000[3]
 Argentina 4,500,000[4]
 United States 3,500,000[5]
 Turkey 1,800,000–2,600,000[6]
 Israel 1,700,000[7]
 Venezuela 1,600,000[8]
 Colombia 1,500,000[9]
 Iran 1,500,000[10]
 Italy 1,500,000[11]
 Chad 1,400,000[12]
 Germany 1,000,000+[13]
 Mexico 1,100,000[14]
 Chile 1,000,000[15]
 United Kingdom 500,000 [16]
 Canada 450,000 [17]
 Netherlands 480,000[18][dead link]
 Australia 350,000[19]
 Honduras 150,000-200,000[20]
Arabic, French, Italian, Spanish, English, Portuguese, Hebrew, Japanese
among others
Predominantly Christianity in the Americas, Islam in Europe , but also Druze and irreligion, among others
Related ethnic groups

Arab diaspora refers to descendants of the Arab immigrants who, voluntarily or as refugees, emigrated from their native lands in non-Arab countries, primarily in East Africa, South America, Europe, North America, and parts of South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, and West Africa.


According to the International Organization for Migration, there are 13 million,[21] of which 5.8 million reside in Arab countries. Arab expatriates contribute to the circulation of financial and human capital in the region and thus significantly promote regional development. In 2009 Arab countries received a total of 35.1 billion USD in remittance in-flows and remittances sent to Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon from other Arab countries are 40 to 190 per cent higher than trade revenues between these and other Arab countries.[22]

Large numbers of Arabs migrated to West Africa, particularly Côte d'Ivoire (home to over 100,000 Lebanese),[23] Senegal (roughly 30,000 Lebanese),[24] Sierra Leone (roughly 10,000 Lebanese today; about 30,000 prior to the outbreak of civil war in 1991), Liberia, and Nigeria.[25] Since the end of the civil war in 2002, Lebanese traders have become re-established in Sierra Leone.[26]

Arab traders have long operated in Southeast Asia, trading in spices, timber and textiles. But an important trading minority in the region that goes largely unrecognised comprises the local descendants of Arabs. Most of the prominent Indonesians, Malaysians, and Singaporeans of Arab descent have their origins in the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula, especially the coastal Hadhramaut region of Yemen and Oman. They are the Hadramis. As many as four million Indonesians are of Hadrami descent, and today there are almost 10,000 Hadramis in Singapore.[27][28]

According to Saudi Aramco World, the largest concentration of Arabs outside the Arab World is in Brazil, which has 9 million Brazilians of Arab ancestry.[29] Of these 9 million Arabs, seven million are of Lebanese ancestry,[30][31][32] making Brazil's population of Lebanese greater than that of Lebanon itself. Most other Brazilians of Arab descent are mainly Syrian. Other large Arab communities includes Argentina, Venezuela,[33] Colombia, Mexico (about 400,000 Mexicans of Lebanese descent) and Chile. Palestinians cluster in Chile and Central America, particularly El Salvador, and Honduras (between 150,000 and 200,000).[34] The 500,000 strong Palestinian community in Chile[35][36] is the fourth largest in the world after those in Israel, Lebanon, and Jordan. Arab Haitians (a large number of whom live in the capital) are more often than not, concentrated in financial areas where the majority of them establish businesses. In the United States, there are around 3.5 million people of Arab ancestry. Most Arabs of the Americas are of Lebanese, Syrian, or Palestinian ancestry. The Lebanese minority in America are mostly Christian, but with sizable Muslim group.[37]

The Lebanese diaspora, while historically trade-related, has been linked more recently to the Lebanese Civil War, and the 2006 Lebanon War. In October 2006, shortly after the 2006 Second Lebanon War had concluded, the Edinburgh Middle East Report ran an article covering the brain drain from Lebanon's universities.[38] Increasing numbers of Lebanese students are travelling abroad to further their education in safer environments.

As of June 21, 2007, the U.N. High Commissioner on Refugees estimated that over 2.2 million Iraqis had been displaced to neighboring countries, with up to 100,000 Iraqis fleeing to Syria and Jordan each month.[39][40][41] As a result of growing international pressure, on June 1, 2007 the Bush administration said it was ready to admit 7,000 Iraqi refugees who had helped the coalition since the invasion. According to Washington-based Refugees International the U.S. has admitted fewer than 800 Iraqi refugees since the invasion, Sweden had accepted 18,000 and Australia had resettled almost 6,000.[42]

As of 2012, at least 127,860 Iraqis live in Sweden.[43] As of 2004, France is home to an estimated 5 million of people both Arabic and Berber speaking from North Africa.[44][45] There is also a medium-sized Arab community in Australia (home to roughly 400,000 Arabs, mostly Lebanese), where Arabic is the fourth most widely spoken second-language. The number of Muslim and Christian Arab Australians are roughly equal with a slight Christian majority. See Australian population: ethnic origins.[46]

Notable persons[edit]

Prominent members of the Arab diaspora include:


Fashion, beauty[edit]

Film, television[edit]

Literature / theatre[edit]

Media and intellectuals[edit]


  • Adel Tawil (Egyptian / Tunisin origin), German singer, songwriter and producer
  • Ali B (Moroccan origin), Dutch rapper
  • Bushido (Tunisian origin), German rapper
  • DJ Khaled (Palestinian origin), American DJ
  • Eric Saade (Palestinian Lebanese origin), Swedish singer
  • Fady Maalouf (Lebanese origin), German singer
  • Fredwreck (Palestinian origin), American record producer
  • Ghali (singer) (Tunisian origin), Italian singer
  • Indila (Algerian origin), French singer
  • Ibrahim Maalouf (Lebanese origin), French saxophonist
  • Kareem Salama (Egyptian origin), American country singer
  • Karl Wolf (Lebanese origin), Canadian pop star
  • La Fouine (Moroccan origin), French rapper
  • L'Algérino (Algerian origin), French rapper
  • Lowkey (Iraqi origin), British rapper and political activist
  • Maher Zain (Lebanese origin), Swedish singer
  • Malika Ayane (Moroccan origin), Italian rapper
  • Massari (Lebanese origin), Canadian singer
  • Master Sina (Tunisian origin), Italian rapper
  • Nasri Tony Atweh (Palestinian Origin). Canadian, lead singer of Magic!
  • Natasja Saad (Sudanese origin), Danish rapper and reggae singer.
  • Rami Yacoub (Palestinian origin), Swedish record producer
  • RedOne, (Moroccan origin), Swedish record producer
  • Salem Al Fakir (Syrian origin), Swedish singer
  • Sarbel (Lebanese origin), Greek singer
  • Shakira (Lebanese origin), Colombian singer
  • Tarak Ben Ammar (Tunisian origin), International movie producer and distributor
  • Tunisiano (Tunisian origin), French rapper
  • Zaho (Algerian origin), Canadian singer




See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Saudi Aramco World : The Arabs of Brazil". Of Brazil's 186 million inhabitants, an estimated nine million, or five percent, can point to roots in the Middle East 
  2. ^ "France's ethnic minorities: To count or not to count". The Economist. 26 March 2009. Retrieved 12 July 2013. 
  3. ^ "Hadramaut dan Para Kapiten Arab". Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
  4. ^ "الهجرة السورية اللبنانية إلى الأرجنتين". Archived from the original on 20 June 2010. Retrieved 13 April 2010. 
  5. ^ "The Arab American Institute". Archived from the original on 1 June 2006. Retrieved 17 September 2011. 
  6. ^ Joshua Project. "Country - Turkey :: Joshua Project Joshua Project". Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Abdel el-Zabayar: From Parliament to the Frontlines". The Daily Beast. 
  9. ^ "Las mil y una historias" (in Spanish). 2004. There is an estimated population of 1,500,000 Arabs in Colombia.
  10. ^ "Iran". Archived from the original on 24 April 2013. Retrieved 3 August 2013. 
  11. ^ "Islam in Italy - Euro-Islam: News and Analysis on Islam in Europe and North America". Retrieved 2016-02-09. 
  12. ^ "Chad". Archived from the original on 24 April 2013. Retrieved 3 August 2013. 
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-12-30. Retrieved 2014-09-27. 
  14. ^ Ben Cahoon. "World". World Retrieved 17 September 2011. 
  15. ^ (Spanish) En Chile viven unas 700.000 personas de origen árabe y de ellas 500.000 son descendientes de emigrantes palestinos que llegaron a comienzos del siglo pasado y que constituyen la comunidad de ese origen más grande fuera del mundo árabe.
  16. ^ Anthony McRoy. "The British Arab". National Association of British Arabs. Retrieved 17 April 2012. 
  17. ^ "Statistics Canada". Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2013-07-16. 
  18. ^ "Dutch media perceived as much more biased than Arabic media – Media & Citizenship Report conducted by University of Utrecht" (PDF), Utrecht University, 10 September 2010, retrieved 29 November 2010 
  19. ^ "Monash University Research Repository" (PDF). Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
  20. ^ Larry Luxner (2001). "The Arabs of Honduras". Saudi Aramco World. Retrieved 11 February 2016. 
  21. ^ "Mundo Arabe". 
  22. ^ "Intra-Regional Labour Mobility in the Arab World" (PDF). International Organization for Migration (IOM) Cairo. 
  23. ^ "Ivory Coast - The Levantine Community". Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  24. ^ Lebanese Immigrants Boost West African Commerce, By Naomi Schwarz,, July 10, 2007
  25. ^ Lebanese man shot dead in Nigeria, BBC News
  26. ^ Joshua Project. "Sayyid Ethnic People in all Countries". Joshua Project. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  27. ^ "Hadramis in Singapore, by Ameen Ali Talib". Archived from the original on 2011-09-26. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  28. ^ The world's successful diasporas, World Business
  29. ^ "The Arabs of Brazil". Saudi Aramco World. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  30. ^ "Sleiman meets Brazilian counterpart, Lebanese community". The Daily Star. 23 April 2010. 
  31. ^ "O Líbano: Geografia" [Lebanon: Geography] (in Portuguese). Lebanese Embassy in Brazil. 1996. Archived from the original on 12 November 2010. 
  32. ^ "Estadão de Hoje". Retrieved 2011-09-17. [dead link]
  33. ^ Habeeb Salloum, "Arabs Making Their Mark in Latin America: Generations of Immigrants in Colombia, Venezuela and Mexico", Al Jadid, Vol. 6, no. 30 (Winter 2000).
  34. ^ "The Arabs of Honduras". 1936-06-27. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  35. ^ "Chile: Palestinian refugees arrive to warm welcome". 2003-04-07. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  36. ^ "500,000 descendientes de primera y segunda generación de palestinos en Chile". Archived from the original on 2009-07-22. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  37. ^ "The Arab American Institute". Archived from the original on 2010-04-03. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  38. ^ Lebanon's Brain Drain by Tim May. Edinburgh Middle East Report Online. Winter 2006.
  39. ^ "Iraq refugees chased from home, struggle to cope". 20 June 2007. Retrieved 17 September 2011. 
  40. ^ Morgan, David (8 October 2007). "U.S., West seen skirting Iraqi refugee crisis". Retrieved 17 September 2011. 
  41. ^ Alexander G. Higgins (3 November 2006). "U.N.: 100,000 Iraq refugees flee monthly". Boston Globe. Archived from the original on 4 September 2007. 
  42. ^ US in Iraq for 'another 50 years', The Australian, June 2, 2007.
  43. ^ "Befolkning efter födelseland och ursprungsland 31 december 2012" (in Swedish). Statistics Sweden. 31 December 2013. Retrieved 22 December 2013. 
  44. ^ Ghazi Omar Tadmouri. "The Arab World" (PDF). Center for Arab Genomic Studies. Retrieved 10 February 2016. 
  45. ^ Sabeg, Yazid; Méhaignerie, Laurence (January 2004). "Les oubliés de l'égalité des chances" (PDF). Institut Montaigne. 
  46. ^ Charles Price. "Australian Population: Ethnic Origins" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 April 2005. 


External links[edit]