Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A piece of the Arab world... in Brazil

Brazil is located far, far away, from the Middle East. Yes, it’s true. But did you know that this country in South America is home to over 15 million Arab immigrants and descendants? In fact, data shows that Brazil has the biggest Arab colony outside the Arab world. Amazing, right?
Arab migration to Brazil started back in the 19th century and was intensified by the social-economic problems in the region during the 20th century. Most of the Arab-descendants in Brazil came from Lebanon and Syria, but others can be traced to places like Egypt, Morocco, Jordan and Iraq.
They moved to Brazil, worked hard, invested in education, took care of their families, preserved tradition and made a name not only as businessmen, but in other areas such as Medicine, Politics and more.
Names like Salim, Tufik, Fuad, and Ibrahim and surnames like Kassab, Haddad, Khalil, Mansour, Ghosn are popular. They can be seen and heard everywhere – especially at the Rua 25 de Março, in São Paulo, and Saara , in Rio de Janeiro.
The famous commercial spots mentioned above were founded by the Arab community. Great places to haggle, as if in one of the popular Middle Eastern street markets (souks), and to try Lebanese delicacies such as kibe, esfiha, and hummus.

So, although I was miles away from the UAE, it was easy to feel right at home as I split my time between Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Paraná – the three Brazilian states with the highest concentration of Arabs in Brazil.
It’s a small world after all…


  1. Na Light editamos o livro Árabes
    no Rio de Janeiro
    Manda por email o seu endereço para eu lhe enviar

  2. very interesting
    thank you

  3. O Brasil é um exemplo de generosidade ao receber imigrantes das mais diversas partes do mundo. Portugueses, espanhóis, italianos, japoneses, árabes e tantos outros aqui encontraram sua segunda pátria.

    Os árabes se adaptaram e se mesclaram maravilhosamente bem com o povo brasileiro,formando gerações que se destacam em todas as áreas profissionais. Nem vou citar os grandes nomes presentes na medicina para não sobrecarregar meus comentários.

    Forte abraço,