The Ethnic Press in the United States: A Historical Analysis and Handbook

By Sally M. Miller | Go to book overview

1
The Arabic-Language Press

ALIXA NAFF

The Arabic-language press was one of the important factors in the remarkably rapid assimilation of the nearly 100,000 Arabic-speaking immigrants to the United States between 1880 and World War I. Inexperienced and bewildered villagers, the majority of whom were illiterate or barely literate peripatetic peddlers, many of them came to depend on information published in their ethnic press. If the reading population was relatively small, those who informed and guided it were nevertheless numerous and eager.

So keen was the penchant for publishing that between 1892 and 1907 (the lifetime of the first Arabic newspaper), twenty-one Arabic dailies, weeklies, and monthlies were published, seventeen of them in New York City and the others scattered in Philadelphia; Lawrence, Massachusetts; and St. Louis, Missouri. In 1907, when the immigrants numbered only about 50,000, there were eleven publications in existence. 1

Because the migrants originated in the Ottoman province of Syria on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean, which included the autonomous sanjak of Mt. Lebanon--roughly the coastal mountain range north of Beirut, south of Tripoli, and east of the Beqa Plain--they were Syrians. With the exception of a relatively small number of Palestinians, other Arabic-speaking peoples do not appear in the immigration records except sporadically and as transient individuals.

The Syrian immigrants of this period were neither the first nor the last Arabs to come to the United States. They were the first, however, to arrive in any significant numbers as a group. A second major Arab migration, containing a high percentage of skilled and professional, politicized, nationalistic young men and women, began after World War II. The first-wave migrants, although not politicized and nationalistic, left their land with a strong sense of who they were. They came as Syrians, called themselves Syrians, and were known as Syrians. "Arab," to them, was a cultural reference, not a nationalistic one, since at the time of their migration there was no independent Syrian political entity with which to identify. Nor were they identified by the outside world as Arabs,

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The Ethnic Press in the United States: A Historical Analysis and Handbook
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction xi
  • Notes xxi
  • 1: The Arabic-Language Press 1
  • Notes 13
  • Bibliography 14
  • 2: The Carpatho-Rusyn Press 15
  • Introduction 15
  • Conclusion 23
  • Notes 23
  • Notes 26
  • 3: The Chinese-American Press 27
  • Notes 39
  • Notes 42
  • 4: The Croatian Press 45
  • Notes 56
  • Notes 58
  • 5: The Danish Press 59
  • Bibliography 69
  • 6: The Dutch Press 71
  • Notes 82
  • Notes 83
  • 7: The Filipino-American Press 85
  • Introduction 85
  • Conclusion 95
  • Notes 96
  • Notes 99
  • 8: The Finnish Press 101
  • BEBLIOGRAPHY 113
  • 9: The Franco-American Press 115
  • Bibliography 128
  • 10: The German-American Press 131
  • Bibliography 158
  • 11: The Greek Press 161
  • Notes 174
  • Bibliography 176
  • 12: The Irish-American Press 177
  • Bibliography 188
  • 13: The Japanese-American Press 191
  • Bibliography 202
  • 14: The Jewish Press 203
  • Bibliography 227
  • 15: The Latvian and Lithuanian Press 229
  • Bibliography 236
  • Notes 242
  • Bibliography 244
  • 16: The Mexican-American Press 247
  • Bibliography 260
  • 17: The Norwegian-American Press 261
  • Bibliography 273
  • 18: The Polish-American Press 275
  • Bibliography 289
  • 19: The Portuguese Press 291
  • Bibliography 302
  • 20: The Puerto Rican Press 303
  • Bibliography 314
  • 21: The Romanian Press 315
  • Bibliography 324
  • 22: The Russian Press 325
  • Bibliography 335
  • 23: The Serbian Press 337
  • Bibliography 351
  • 24: The Slovak-American Press 353
  • Bibliography 368
  • 25: The Slovene-American Press 369
  • Bibliography 377
  • 26: The Swedish Press 379
  • Bibliography 391
  • 27: The Ukrainian Press 393
  • Bibliography 407
  • About the Editor and Contributors 409
  • Index 415
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