Strangers in the West: The Syrian Colony of New York City, 1880-1900
The never-before-told story of the Arab immigrants who settled in New York City, beginning in 1880. They came primarily from what was then known as "Greater Syria," and settled in tenements on the lower west side of Manhattan, founding an Arabic-speaking enclave just south of the future site of the World Trade Center. Arriving in the New World with little more than their resourcefulness and business acumen, these immigrants quickly built a thriving "colony" that was the cultural and economic center of the Syrian diaspora in America.
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Dr Jacobs is an anthropologist and a first- rate story-teller and writer. She has been a businessperson, a University Trustee, and Chairperson of several Foundations. All of these skills have led to this seminal book detailing immigration from the Arab World to New York City in the last two decades of the 19th century.
It is carefully researched, relying on documentation-and therefore differs from the oral histories which until now have characterized Arab immigration "histories".
It is a key to the story of immigration to the United States, and will remain a cornerstone of understanding America's story, and the story of those mid-easterners who helped shape the 20th century in the United States.