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Notable Arab Americans

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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.