The coming of the Arabic-speaking people to the United States
Younis, Adele Linda
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Eminent historians and writers have frequently referred to the important role American missionaries played in acquainting Arabic-speaking people of the Near East with the United States, which subsequently led to their emigration to America. Studies of available letters, reports, and biographies reveal the founding of educational, clinical, and press publications in Syria during the early nineteenth century. These occurred simultaneously with important changes that began to take place within the Near Eastern area. Forerunners, like Pliny Fisk and Levi Parsons in 1819, were followed by prominent American men and women who worked among the people in peace and in times of civil disturbances. The presence of these strangers from a distant country, who made available their services in humane endeavors without political opportunism, enhanced greatly American prestige in the Near East. The few emigrants in the United States between 1849 and 1860 came through this association with Americans. Monseigneur Flavianus Efoury, Superior General of St. John's Convent in Khonchara, Lebanon, sought American Catholic aid to restore the monastery destroyed by civil wars. Antonio Bishallany, also of Mount Lebanon, studied here, hoping to acquire a wider background in Protestant missionary education. One exception to the missionary story during this period is that of Hadji Ali or Hi Jolly. He led a Levantine group to the United States in 1856 when this country introduced the camel caravan into the Arizona territory. There is evidence that there were earlier arrivals of Moors from North Africa who came with the Spaniards. Father Elias al-Mawsili, of Mosul, Iraq, reached Mexico and South America in 1668. Some Rabbis from Asia Minor were in Newport, Rhode Island, in the middle eighteenth century. Algerians may have brought horses here for the Continental army during the American Revolution. By 1856 statistics reveal about 272 Near Easterners in the United States, including North Africans. But these classifications are not certain. However, widespread emigration to the United States occurred only after the American Civil War. [TRUNCATED]
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston University.