How Arab Immigrants Got a Chance at the Brazilian Dream

    Rua 25 de Março in São Paulo, Brazil, the Arabs street

    Rua 25 de Março in São Paulo, Brazil, the Arabs street Sociologist Oswaldo Truzzi from Brazil pointed out at the seminar “The Arab Contribution to Ibero-American Identities”, in Rio de Janeiro, that the economic growth of Arab immigrants in Brazil allowed them to follow political careers. “Political careers were the result of the social and economic mobility they had in Brazil,” said Truzzi, who wrote his doctoral thesis through the University of Campinas (Unicamp) based on the Arab immigration to Brazil.

    The trajectory of the first Arabs who arrived in Brazil starts with the traveling salesmen, who then opened their shops, became wholesalers and won the textile industry.

    “This made it possible for the first generation of descendants in Brazil to enter large universities,” said Truzzi. “Thanks to their commercial insertion, the immigrants managed to place their sons in good schools,” he added.

    In São Paulo, the Medicine and Law courses were the ones most sought by the sons of immigrants. “Trade could make a lot of money, but the ‘doctor’ title brought greater recognition,” said the sociologist. Law students of this generation were the first to enter politics in 1945.

    After the 1970s, many cities in the interior of São Paulo already counted with aldermen and mayors of Arab origin. According to Truzzi, the political field for Arabs in other Brazilian states also opened up. Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Sul, Paraná, Mato Grosso do Sul, Amazonas and Ceará were some of the states visited by Truzzi, who noticed significant Arab communities.

    “None is like São Paulo, but each one of the capitals of these states has a reasonable concentration of Syrians and Lebanese,” stated the sociologist.

    According to him, this good distribution of Arabs in Brazil is due to urban immigration, different from other countries in which they were more rural. “In all these states, the Arabs concentrated their activities in trade,” said Truzzi.

    During the seminar, other speakers also stated that the history of Arabs in politics of other countries is similar to that of Brazil and that the main factor for this was social and economic mobility that the immigrants had.

    Speaker Lorenzo Agar, of the University of Chile, for example, stated that in the year 2000, one third of the textile factories in the city of Santiago belonged to Arab descendants. He also said that the country received around 10,000 Arab immigrants up to 1940 and that most were made up of Syrians, Lebanese and Palestinians.

    Before the Arabs became prominent in the economic and political field, they had to travel and sell very much. This is shown by North American anthropologist John Tofik Karam, from De Paul University, who is of Lebanese descent and wrote a book about Arab immigrants to Brazil: “Another arabesque”. The work is the result of Karam’s doctoral thesis, which shows the appreciation of the Arabs in the late 1920s.

    The anthropologist stated that it was with the activities in the textile industry that the Arabs gained prominence and started contributing to the economic development of Brazil.

    In Karam’s talk he pointed out two sceneries that contextualize the Arabs in São Paulo: 25 March Street, which became an Arab symbol in the city and the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce. “The organization was established by Arabs in the textile industry in the 1950s,” he said.

    According to Karam, with the arrival of new immigrants of other nationalities to São Paulo, at the end of the 1980s, the Arabs had to divide their products with Chinese and Indian products, and those of other countries, which reduced the importance of the 25 of March as the street of the Arabs.

    The Arab Brazilian Chamber, in turn, became more and more appreciated from the 1970s on, as the interest of businessmen in negotiating with the Arabs rose. “Today the organization is considered a partner of the government and of businessmen,” he said.

    Anba

    Tags:

    • Show Comments (0)

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    comment *

    • name *

    • email *

    • website *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Ads

    You May Also Like

    Renewed Appetite for Chicken in EU Boosts Brazil Perdigí£o’s Bottom Line

    The revenues of food sector company Perdigão, a traditional Brazilian industry in the food ...

    Shorter Lives

    The fecundity rate has declined dramatically from the 60s and 70s when every Brazilian ...

    Brazil Takes Its Best Beauty Goods to the Emirates

    This is the second consecutive year in which the Brazilian industry will be participating ...

    Corruption Yes, Vote Buying No, Say Brazil’s Government Allies

    Congressmen who belong to Brazilian political parties allied with the government who are members ...

    The Koran translated into Portuguese

    Behind Free Koran Distribution in Brazil Is Islam’s Push to Win the Infidels

    According to an article published here in Brazzil, on June 1, 2006, free copies ...

    Brazilian Medical Firm is Equipping Iraq’s Hospitals

    The manufacturer of medical and hospital instruments, Erwin Guth, located in the city of ...

    Brazil Prods Colleges Into Adopting Quotas

    Brazil’s Ministry of Education’s (MEC) Afro-Atitude Program will distribute 500 scholarships to students of ...

    In the shade of the date trees: oriental tales, by Humberto de Campos

    Humberto de Campos: An Old Brazilian Poet Gets New Life in Print

    The third edition of "In the shade of the date trees: oriental tales" (À€ ...

    Finance Minister of Brazil Guido Mantega

    Bank Merger in Brazil Should Reduce Credit Shortage, Says Minister

    Guido Mantega, Brazil's minister of Finance, believes that the merger of Brazilian banks Itaú ...

    Brazil and Argentina in the Mercosur

    New Rules at Mercosur Give More Power to Brazil

    In a move that opens the way for the creation of a Supranational Justice ...