Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Lebanese cuisine

Part 2. Why the “Arabs” in the US are the most educated and the richest?

The latest statistics performed in the US, generated from the latest census, have sent shock waves in the US communities because of widespread discrimination of “Arabs” in the medias.  The statistics demonstrated the following facts, relative to the 5.3 million US citizens of “Arabic” descent:

1. 61% of the US Arabs earned the highest university degrees versus 30% of the average US citizens. The Arab citizens are mainly Lebanese (40%), Syrians (12.3%), Egyptians (12%), Palestinians (6%), Iraqis, North Africans… earned the highest university degrees versus 30% of the average US citizens

2. The average “Arab” in the US earn $54,000 versus $43,000

3. 57% of the “Arabs” in the US own single family homes versus 43% of the average ratio.

4. The Arabs in the US hold the highest posts and the most private businesses than the other US minorities, including European, Japanese, and Chinese.

John Stewart Kenneth said:

“The Arabs are starting to scare us with their intelligence and competitiveness.  Even our thinking are challenged and changed.  Once opportunities for freedom, justice were available to the US Arabs, they advanced in accelerated speed.  The US Arabs came from poor countries and reacted to their former indignities in their original countries by showing us to the second rank in our society.”

Moses Naeem, founder of “Foreign Policies” in the USA wrote an article saying: “Why Arab descendents are more successful than most ordinary US citizens?  Why are they more intelligent and richer? Why in such a hurry?”

Indeed why?

First, we need to differentiate among the Arabic speaking people, if explanations are to get to target.   The “Arabs” mentioned in the statistics are 70% from the Levant or Near East States (Lebanon, Syria, Palestine).  This trend is not restricted to the US: it is predominant  in Europe, Latin America, Australia and in most developed countries where “Arabs” had to immigrate to.

Simply because of the availability in opportunities for “freedom and justice”?  Is it that simple?

It is more complicated than this simplistic concept monopolized by the Western States.

The first immigrants at the turn of the century to the US were Lebanese and Syrians, called “Turks” because they held Ottoman passports at the time.  Immigrants had bought tickets with the intention of specifically “going to America, the USA”.

Most of them were diverted to Africa, Latin America, and to islands by ship captains, for efficient turnover of customers, at every port.  They were fleeing economic hardship, before starting to immigrate for political reasons after WWII.

The most educated and well-to-do among immigrants went to Palestine, and particularly to Egypt at the turn of the century, where they were the vanguard in creating daily presses, translating scientific research and the newer technologies,  and disseminating the notion of freedom of expressions and promoting the values of Western Europe in matters of democracy, republic, equality, constitutional political systems, and justice to all under the law…

In the 20’s and 30’s, Lebanese settled in Palestine:  Business was brisk, schooling was expanding and needing educators, and agricultural lands were relatively inexpensive compared to Lebanon.

People in the Levant and Egypt were, since antiquity, the backbone of civilization for millennium.  They remained the source of civilization and culture during the Islamic hegemony for 9 centuries after 640 AC.

Basically, the Levant was a crossroad to all the immigrants fleeing from the east, due to wars or economical hardships.  In period of coming calamities, the settled immigrants in the Levant would venture further westward, around the Mediterranean Sea basin.

These historical facts may not be relevant to the subject matter, but it is worth mentioning.  The human brain is flexible and adaptive:  Any second generation immigrant, supported by a network of extended family, from any origin he happened to be, is likely to succeed in communities with vast available opportunities in education, work, and sustainable and stable law and order institutions.

Why the Arabs of the Levant in the US are being so successful?

Never under-estimate the delicious varieties of the Lebanese cuisine:  “satisfy the stomach, and abiding by customs and traditions would follow“.  The immigrants constituted tight family communities, and barely diverted from the guidelines of visiting frequently and sharing in the frequent festivities.  The second generation witnessed the hardship and determination of their parents for securing the best education and immersion in the local communities.

The extended family community kept the children close to the nucleus and got all the practical and financial aid they needed to succeed.  Everybody in the extended family shared in the expenses and the success  stories.

Traditionally, what were considered good educational disciplines were engineering, medicine, and law.  Most important of all, babies drank politics from early childhood:  Political discussions were scenes of heated debate and the world was its theater. Thus, you are brought up to know a lot of geography and history.   Learning more than two languages was a must and communication is not a major problem.

The Levant immigrants have high feeling of competition and drive to acceding to higher status compared to the neighbors (whoever is the neighbor):  Humility is not their strongest trait (not many earned Nobel Prizes!)

The Levant immigrants are not famous for creating sustainable institutions, associations or organizations. It is these frequent gathering of the extended family, for one occasion or another and sharing good food, that provide the basis for this large network of “soft power” among acquaintances for referrals and disseminating intelligence pieces of new programs, policies, and regulations that facilitate grabbing opened opportunities to wants and wishes.

Note:  With the influx of immigrants from the Levant countries, Egypt became the main State for writing Arabic books and magazines.

In the 1950’s Lebanon became the printing press for the region. It is thanks to the Iraqi people, the most voracious readers that the cycle of writing and publishing flourished.

It is because the Iraqis were the most learned in the region that Iraq had to be destabilized, invaded and dismantled…


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

July 2020
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