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Notable Arab Americans

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Profiles

  • Elias Lee Francis (1913 - 2001)
    Elias Lee Francis II was Lieutenant Governor of New Mexico from 1967 to 1971 and of Lebanese heritage.
  • Marisa Berenson
    Vittoria Marisa Schiaparelli Berenson (born February 15, 1947, New York City) is an American actress and model. She is the elder daughter of Robert L. Berenson, an American diplomat turned shipping...
  • Madeleine A. Pickens
    Madeleine A. Pickens (born March 5, 1947 in Lebanon) is an American businesswoman who owns Del Mar Country Club in Rancho Santa Fe, California. She is also a Thoroughbred racehorse owner/breeder ...
  • Catherine Keener
    Catherine Keener is an American actor. She has been twice nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, for her roles as Maxine Lund in Being John Malkovich (1999) and Harper Lee in Capo...
  • Moustapha Akkad (1930 - 2005)
    Find a Grave Birth: Jul. 1, 1930 Death: Nov. 11, 2005 Motion Picture Producer, Director. He produced the successful "Halloween" series of horror films beginning with the first installment in 19...

Here is a project to showcase the many Arab immigrants and people of Arab background who have achieved notability in some way in the United States.

At right: Helen Zughaib, Prayer Rug for America, 2001. Giclee ¾, 20 x 13 in. Original in the collection of the Library of Congress.

Arab Americans

Arab Americans (Arabic: عَرَبٌ أَمْرِيكِيُّونَ‎‎) are Americans of Arab ethnic, cultural and linguistic heritage or identity, who identify themselves as Arab. Arab Americans trace ancestry to any of the various waves of immigrants of the countries comprising the Arab World. Arab Americans, and Arabs in general, comprise a highly diverse amalgam of groups with differing ancestral origins, religious backgrounds and historic identities. Instead, the ties that bind are a shared heritage by virtue of common linguistic, cultural, and political traditions.

According to the Arab American Institute (AAI), countries of origin for Arab Americans include Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, there are 1,697,570 Arab Americans in the United States. 290,893 persons defined themselves as simply Arab, and a further 224,241 as Other Arab. Other groups on the 2010 Census are listed by nation of origin, and some may or may not be Arabs, or regard themselves as Arabs. The largest subgroup is by far the Lebanese Americans, with 501,907, followed by; Egyptian American with 190,078, Syrian American with 148,214, Iraqi American with 105,981, Moroccan American with 101,211, Somali American with 85,700, Palestinian American with 85,186, and Jordanian American with 61,664. Approximately 1/4 of all Arab Americans claimed two ancestries.

A number of peoples that may have lived in Arab countries and are now resident in the United States are not classified as Arabs, including; Assyrians (aka Chaldo-Assyrians) Berbers, Jews, Kurds, Turkmen, Azeris, Mandeans, Copts, Circassians, Shabaki, Armenians, Turks, Mhallami, Georgians, Yazidis, Balochs, Greeks, Iranians and Kawliya/Romani.