Author Topic: A Look at Jacksonville’s Arab American Community  (Read 10735 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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A Look at Jacksonville’s Arab American Community
« on: December 01, 2015, 03:00:04 AM »
A Look at Jacksonville’s Arab American Community



With Syria and the ongoing refugee crisis in the news, Metro Jacksonville turns to the history and impact of Jacksonville’s Syrian and Arab community. The River City boasts the country’s fifth-largest Syrian population, and the tenth largest overall Arab American community. From politics to business to the culinary arts, Arabs have been making their mark in all areas of life in Jacksonville for 125 years.

Read More: http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2015-dec-a-look-at-jacksonvilles-arab-american-community

thelakelander

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Re: A Look at Jacksonville’s Arab American Community
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2015, 07:54:56 AM »
An earlier story about an early 20th century Jacksonville meatpacking plant founded by a Syrian immigrant:

Quote


The story of Farris & Company starts with Najeeb Easa Farris, a Syrian immigrant who was born on April 6, 1883.  According to Immigrant Jacksonville: A Profile of Immigrant Groups in Jacksonville, FL, 1890-1920, a UNF Digital Commons document, During the turn of the 20th century, Syrian immigrants in Jacksonville typically owned businesses selling produce, dry goods, and groceries.  Adult members of the family worked with relatives until they could start their own establishments.  In 1910, Najeeb Farris and his wife Eva owned the Farris & Company dry goods store at 410 Davis Street in LaVilla.  By 1920, Syrians had become the fifth largest foreign born group in Jacksonville behind immigrants from England, Russia, Germany, and Canada.  This document goes on to state that Syrians were especially proud of their accomplishments because of the prejudice they encountered when they settled in Jacksonville.  Because most of the Syrian immigrants were Catholics, they were especially visible as targets of both racial and religious prejudice in a city that had become a center of anti-Catholic agitation between 1910 and 1917.

http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2012-may-the-uncovering-of-a-jacksonville-slaughterhouse
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pierre

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Re: A Look at Jacksonville’s Arab American Community
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2015, 09:39:49 AM »
After high school, I worked for Sam Bajalia. His family was Syrian I believe. He owned convenience stores, restaurants, pay phones, all sort of things. I didn't realize how many people of Arab descent lived in Jacksonville until I went to work for him. This was 20 years ago but there many of them that owned businesses all over town and they were a tight knit group.

The USA Today had an article several years ago highlighting Arab immigrants in the US. Jacksonville was a main focal point of the article.

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2003-11-20-arab-americans_x.htm

Adam White

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Re: A Look at Jacksonville’s Arab American Community
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2015, 09:46:41 AM »
After high school, I worked for Sam Bajalia. His family was Syrian I believe. He owned convenience stores, restaurants, pay phones, all sort of things. I didn't realize how many people of Arab descent lived in Jacksonville until I went to work for him. This was 20 years ago but there many of them that owned businesses all over town and they were a tight knit group.

The USA Today had an article several years ago highlighting Arab immigrants in the US. Jacksonville was a main focal point of the article.

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2003-11-20-arab-americans_x.htm

I thought the Bajalias were Palestinian - but I could be totally wrong about that.
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Tacachale

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Re: A Look at Jacksonville’s Arab American Community
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2015, 09:58:51 AM »
After high school, I worked for Sam Bajalia. His family was Syrian I believe. He owned convenience stores, restaurants, pay phones, all sort of things. I didn't realize how many people of Arab descent lived in Jacksonville until I went to work for him. This was 20 years ago but there many of them that owned businesses all over town and they were a tight knit group.

The USA Today had an article several years ago highlighting Arab immigrants in the US. Jacksonville was a main focal point of the article.

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2003-11-20-arab-americans_x.htm

I thought the Bajalias were Palestinian - but I could be totally wrong about that.

I think the Bajalias I know of are Palestinian. They're heavily involved in the Ramallah Club. But there are a lot of Bajalias in Jacksonville!
Do you believe that when the blue jay or another bird sings and the body is trembling, that is a signal that people are coming or something important is about to happen?

spuwho

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Re: A Look at Jacksonville’s Arab American Community
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2015, 10:29:01 AM »
I have been looking forward to an article like this for a long time. Thanks for creating this. Much appreciated

Tacachale

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Re: A Look at Jacksonville’s Arab American Community
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2015, 10:59:24 AM »
Here are the resources I used in writing this article. All are worth checking out:

*Gladys David Howell, "Political Attitudes, Participation and Activitism: A White Ethnic Case Study", 1979, paper presented at the Regional Conference of the National Association of Interdisciplinary Ethnic Studies. It discusses the three waves of immigration that created Jacksonville's Arab community; the abstract can be read here.
*Kathleen Ann Francis Cohen, Immigrant Jacksonville: A Profile of Immigrant Groups in Jacksonville, Florida, 1890-1920, 1986, University of Florida thesis.
*Bob Self, "Arabian days (and nights)", July 6, 1998, The Florida Times-Union.
*Haya El Nasser, "U.S. Census reports on Arab-Americans for first time", Nov. 20, 2003, USA Today.
*Carrie Sanchez Potter, "viCARIous: Delis of Riverside Avondale", October 4, 2010, Metro Jacksonville
*Dorothy Fletcher, "Chatting with local TV legend Virginia Atter Keys is like hanging out with your best friend", Jul 6, 2011, Jacksonville.com
*Beth Reese Cravey, "Jacksonville's Salaam Club to celebrate 100 years of promoting Arab-American culture". May 3, 2012, The Florida Times-Union.
*John T. Edge "A Taste of Jacksonville, Tucked Into a Pita", July 12, 2012, The New York Times
*John Rukab and Joy Batteh-Freiha The History of The Ramallah-American Club of Jacksonville, www.ramallahclubjax.com
Do you believe that when the blue jay or another bird sings and the body is trembling, that is a signal that people are coming or something important is about to happen?

Tacachale

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Re: A Look at Jacksonville’s Arab American Community
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2015, 10:59:46 AM »
I have been looking forward to an article like this for a long time. Thanks for creating this. Much appreciated

Thanks, spuwho!
Do you believe that when the blue jay or another bird sings and the body is trembling, that is a signal that people are coming or something important is about to happen?

Adam White

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Re: A Look at Jacksonville’s Arab American Community
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2015, 11:14:31 AM »
I have been looking forward to an article like this for a long time. Thanks for creating this. Much appreciated

Thanks, spuwho!

Are you Bill Delaney?

I have to echo Spuwho's comments. It's an interesting aspect of Jacksonville that is one of the things that makes the city what it is.
“If you're going to play it out of tune, then play it out of tune properly.”

Tacachale

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Re: A Look at Jacksonville’s Arab American Community
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2015, 11:15:10 AM »
I have been looking forward to an article like this for a long time. Thanks for creating this. Much appreciated

Thanks, spuwho!

Are you Bill Delaney?

I have to echo Spuwho's comments. It's an interesting aspect of Jacksonville that is one of the things that makes the city what it is.

I am, and thanks, Adam!
Do you believe that when the blue jay or another bird sings and the body is trembling, that is a signal that people are coming or something important is about to happen?

Adam White

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Re: A Look at Jacksonville’s Arab American Community
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2015, 11:17:58 AM »
I have been looking forward to an article like this for a long time. Thanks for creating this. Much appreciated

Thanks, spuwho!

Are you Bill Delaney?

I have to echo Spuwho's comments. It's an interesting aspect of Jacksonville that is one of the things that makes the city what it is.

I am, and thanks, Adam!

Totally just found you on Facebook. Nice to put a face to an avatar!
“If you're going to play it out of tune, then play it out of tune properly.”

thelakelander

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Re: A Look at Jacksonville’s Arab American Community
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2015, 11:35:53 AM »
I have been looking forward to an article like this for a long time. Thanks for creating this. Much appreciated

Thanks, spuwho!

Are you Bill Delaney?

I have to echo Spuwho's comments. It's an interesting aspect of Jacksonville that is one of the things that makes the city what it is.

It's one of those culturally unique things about Jax's true identify that most tend to glaze over.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

camarocane

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Re: A Look at Jacksonville’s Arab American Community
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2015, 12:42:06 PM »
After high school, I worked for Sam Bajalia. His family was Syrian I believe. He owned convenience stores, restaurants, pay phones, all sort of things. I didn't realize how many people of Arab descent lived in Jacksonville until I went to work for him. This was 20 years ago but there many of them that owned businesses all over town and they were a tight knit group.

The USA Today had an article several years ago highlighting Arab immigrants in the US. Jacksonville was a main focal point of the article.

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2003-11-20-arab-americans_x.htm


I thought the Bajalias were Palestinian - but I could be totally wrong about that.

I think the Bajalias I know of are Palestinian. They're heavily involved in the Ramallah Club. But there are a lot of Bajalias in Jacksonville!

You are correct, the Bajalias are Palestinian. They, along with the Rukabs (Palestinian), Isaacs (Lebanese, Syrian) , and Hazouris (Lebanese) are related through marriage. 


Tacachale

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Re: A Look at Jacksonville’s Arab American Community
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2015, 12:47:16 PM »
I have been looking forward to an article like this for a long time. Thanks for creating this. Much appreciated

Thanks, spuwho!

Are you Bill Delaney?

I have to echo Spuwho's comments. It's an interesting aspect of Jacksonville that is one of the things that makes the city what it is.

It's one of those culturally unique things about Jax's true identify that most tend to glaze over.

Part of the reason for this is that community is so well integrated. For 100 years or so, Arabs in Jacksonville have lived like white Americans in public, which was something actively cultivated by the earliest immigrants. There never was a "Syriatown" or "Little Beirut". That, combined with the fact that so many members of the community have been highly active in public life, their businesses and public ventures don't stand out as "other" as they might in other cities. For example, most in Jax don't think of the myriad Middle Eastern sandwich shops and delis as "ethnic".
Do you believe that when the blue jay or another bird sings and the body is trembling, that is a signal that people are coming or something important is about to happen?