Arab Mexican

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Arab Mexican
Mexicano de origen árabe
Rosemary Barkett.jpg
Carlos Slim Helú.jpg
Salma Hayek 2, 2012.jpg
Total population
1% of Mexico's population[1]
Regions with significant populations
Baja California, Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Sinaloa, Mexico City, Veracruz, Guanajuato, Chihuahua, Durango, Nayarit
Mexican Spanish, Arabic
Mostly Christianity, minority Islam
Related ethnic groups
Arabs, Jews, Spanish Mexicans

An Arab Mexican is a Mexican citizen of Arabic-speaking origin who can be of various ancestral origins. The vast majority of Mexico's 1,100,000 Arabs are from either Lebanese, Syrian, Iraqi, Moroccan or Palestinian background.[2]

The interethnic marriage in the Arab 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 Arab 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 Arabic surnames in Mexico include Slim (Salim), Bichir (Bashir), Hayek, Medina, Nader, Ali, Sabah, Mier, Haddad, Nasser, Malik, Abed, Mansoor, Magana, Esper, Harb, Califa and Elias.

Migration history[edit]

Arab immigration to Mexico started in the 19th and early 20th centuries.[3] Roughly 100,000 Arabic-speakers settled in Mexico during this time period. They came mostly from Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, and Iraq and settled in significant numbers in Nayarit, Guanajuato, Puebla, Mexico City and the Northern part of the country (mainly in the states of Baja California, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Sinaloa, Chihuahua, Zacatecas, Coahuila, and Durango), as well as the cities of Tampico and Guadalajara . The term "Arab Mexican" may include ethnic groups that do not in fact identify as Arab.

During the Israel-Lebanon war in 1948 and during the Six-Day War, thousands of Lebanese left Lebanon and went to Mexico. They first arrived in Veracruz. Although Arabs made up less than 5% of the total immigrant population in Mexico during the 1930s, they constituted half of the immigrant economic activity.[4]

Immigration of Arabs 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,[citation needed] Dates, which originated from the Middle East, were introduced into Mexico by the Spaniards. The fusion between Arab and Mexican food has highly influenced Yucatecan cuisine.[5]

Another concentration of Arab-Mexicans is in Baja California facing the U.S.-Mexican border, esp. in cities of Mexicali in the Imperial Valley U.S./Mexico, and Tijuana across from San Diego with a large Arab American community (about 280,000), some of whose families have relatives in Mexico. 45% of Arab Mexicans are of Lebanese descent.

The majority of Arab-Mexicans are Christians who belong to the Maronite Church, Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Rite Catholic Churches. A scant number are Muslims of Middle Eastern origins.

Clock given in 1910 by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed V to mark the centenary of the Mexican independence in Mexico City
Moorish Kiosk of Santa María la Ribera built in 1910 by Eng José Ramón Ibarrola at Alameda de Santa Maria la Ribera
La Pila fountain of Moorish style in Chiapa de Corzo, Chiapas


Arab net migration to Mexico from 1871 to 1976
Year period Arab immigrants
1871–1880 672
1881–1890 3,537
1891–1900 10,572
1901–1910 35,398
1911–1920 39,052
1921–1930 18,894
1931–1940 1,682
1941–1950 2,063
1951–1960 1,083
1961–1970 278
1971–1976 -30
Total 113,201

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]