Strangers No More
Syrians in the United States, 1880-1900
By Linda K. Jacobs
The Journey of America’s First Arab Immigrants
Syrian/Lebanese immigration to the United States began only in 1878, but by 1900, Syrian men and women had settled in every state and territory, from Alabama to Wyoming. First traveling 5,000 miles to reach New York, these wanderers peddled their way to the furthest corners of the country. They braved the rigors of the western territories, including Alaska, and moved into towns where no Arab had ever been seen before. There they made new lives for themselves, becoming along the way, Americans.
About the Author
Linda K. Jacobs is a New York-based scholar and author. She holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Archaeology/Anthropology and spent many years working on archaeological excavations and economic development projects in the Middle East. She is the author of Digging In: An American Archaeologist Uncovers the Real Iran (2012) and Strangers in the West: The Syrian Colony of New York City, 1880-1900 (2015) as well as a series of articles about the nineteenth-century Syrian colony in New York. Dr. Jacobs is committed to promoting Middle Eastern culture and knowledge in the United States, founding KalimahPress in 2011, establishing the Violet Jabara Charitable Trust, and sitting on the boards of the Near East Foundation, the Washington Street Historical Society, and the Moise Khayrallah Center for Lebanese Diaspora Studies. She has also served on the board of the American University of Beirut.