According to Al-Ahram, over 17 million people in Latin America are thought to be of Arab origin. Other estimations calculate that Latin Americans of Arab descent could represent up to 5% of the region, or 25-30 million people. Most of them are descendants of immigrants who came from Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan, during the first decades of the 20th century.
One thing is certain: Latin America hosts the largest Arab diaspora in the world. By comparison, the Arab minority in Europe (including Arab immigrants and Europeans of Arab origin) was estimated at about 6 million in 2010.
Latin Americans of Arab descent have been disproportionately successful. Nowhere in the world more than in Latin America have the Arab migrants been able to thrive and be so successful. The names of Carlos Slim in Mexico, Miguel Facussé in Honduras or José Said in Chile are synonyms of economic power and political influence. Continue reading