Lebanese Colombian

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Lebanese Colombian
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Total population

700,000 approx.[1]

1.56% of the Colombian population[2] (2009)
Regions with significant populations
Barranquilla, Cartagena, Santa Marta, Bucaramanga, Medellin, Maicao, Bogotá, Cali.
Spanish, Arabic.
Mostly Christian and some Muslims
Related ethnic groups
Other Lebanese diaspora, Lebanese Argentine, Lebanese Brazilian, Lebanese American, Lebanese Canadian, Lebanese Australian, Lebanese people in Spain

Lebanese Colombians are Colombians of Lebanese descent. Most of the Lebanese escaped to Colombia because of financial hardships and the repressions of the Turkish Ottoman Empire.[3] When they were first processed in the ports of Colombia, they were classified as Turks because what is modern day Lebanon was a territory of the Turkish Ottoman Empire. It is estimated that Colombia has a population of 700,000 of Lebanese descent.[4]

Many Lebanese settled in the Caribbean region of Colombia, particularly in the cities of Santa Marta, Lorica, Fundación, Aracataca, Ayapel, Calamar, Ciénaga, Cereté, Montería and Barranquilla, near the basin of the Magdalena River. The Lebanese subsequently expanded to other cities and by 1945 there were Lebanese living in Ocaña, Cúcuta, Barrancabermeja, Ibagué, Girardot, Honda, Tunja, Villavicencio, Pereira, Soatá, Neiva, Cali, Buga, Chaparral and Chinácota. The four major hubs of Lebanese population were present in Barranquilla, Cartagena, Bucaramanga, Bogotá, Medellin and Cali. The number of immigrants entering the country vary from 5,000 to 10,000 in 1945. Some of these immigrants were Christian-Lebanese and others were adept to Islam.[3]

In the 1940s, another wave of Lebanese immigrants came to Colombia, settling in the town of Maicao in northern Colombia. These immigrants were mostly Muslims and were attracted by the thriving commerce of the town which was benefiting from the neighboring Venezuelan oil bonanza and the usual contraband of goods that flowed through the Guajira Peninsula.[5]

Notable people[edit]

Please see List of Lebanese people in Colombia

See also[edit]