PDF So Far from Allah, So Close to Mexico: Middle Eastern Immigrants in Modern Mexico

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Without cookies your experience may not be seamless. In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: This book is a fascinating history and historical geography of Middle Eastern migrations to Mexico and other parts of Latin America during the first half of the 20 th century. Project MUSE Mission Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide.

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Contact Contact Us Help. Challenging the post-revolutionary definitions of mexicanidad and exposing new aspects of the often contradictory attitudes of Mexicans toward foreigners, So Far from Allah, So Close to Mexico should spark timely dialogues regarding race and ethnicity, and the essence of Mexican citizenship.

She has published numerous scholarly articles on Middle Eastern immigrants who settled in Latin America. Middle Eastern Immigrants in Modern Mexico. Locating Middle Easterners in National and Transnational.


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Likewise, she demonstrates that while many Mexicans of Middle Eastern origin now claim a Lebanese identity, about half of all migrants came between and , when the Ottoman Empire was in the process of unraveling. The subsequent rise of Lebanese nationalism encouraged many within the community to embrace this identity after the fact.

Imagined connections with Phoenicians, the iconic traders of the [End Page ] ancient Mediterranean, conveniently bolstered the image they were seeking to project in Mexico as natural-born capitalists. Alfaro-Velcamp effectively deploys multiple scales of analysis to analyze the emergence of this merchant identity, juxtaposing a close community study focused on the Laguna region of northern Mexico during the decade of revolutionary fighting after with a broad survey of Middle Eastern migrant networks throughout Mexico from to the present.

She attributes their success to a variety of factors, including a long tradition of marketing, the maintenance of close ethnic connections, an abono system of extending credit to customers, and, in the borderlands region, the ability to obtain merchandise from fellow ethnics in the United States. Of course, much the same could be said for other successful merchants, from indigenous market networks in pre-Hispanic times to Basques of the colonial era. Class also helped to determine these new identities, which varied considerably depending on economic outcomes.

Such protective adaptation was important in the s and s as nativist anger raged against supposed foreign exploitation.

That quintessential street food, tacos al pastor , is probably the greatest single Middle Eastern influence on the daily life of many Mexicans, and the historical path from shawarma to tacos arabes merits further study.