Arab Colombians

Arab Colombians
Regions with significant populations
Spanish, Arabic.
Overwhelmingly Christian
Related ethnic groups
Lebanese Colombian, Palestinian diaspora, Syrian Colombian

Arab Colombians refers to Arab immigrants and their descendants in the Republic of Colombia. Most of the Arab Middle Easterners came from Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Palestine escaping from the repression of the Turkish Ottoman Empire and financial hardships.[2] When they were first processed in the ports of Colombia, they were classified as Turks because what is modern day Lebanon, Syria and Palestine was a territory of the Turkish Ottoman Empire. It is estimated that Colombia has a Lebanese population of 700,000.[3]

Most of the Syrian-Lebanese established themselves in the Caribbean Region of Colombia in the towns of Santa Marta, Lorica, Fundación, Aracataca, Ayapel, Calamar, Ciénaga, Cereté, Montería and Barranquilla near the basin of the Magdalena River. They later expanded to other cities and by 1945 there were Arab Middle Easterners moving inland like Ocaña, Cúcuta, Barrancabermeja, Ibagué, Girardot, Honda, Tunja, Villavicencio, Pereira, Soatá, Neiva, Buga, Chaparral and Chinácota. The four major hubs of Arab Middle Eastern population were present in Barranquilla, Cartagena, Bogotá and Cali. Most arrived as members of the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches, but the majority became Roman Catholic. The number of immigrants entering the country vary from 40,000 to 50,000 in 1945. Most of these immigrants were Christians and others were Muslims.[2]

Many Arabs adapted their names and surnames to the Spanish language as a way to adapt more quickly in the communities where they arrived. For example, people of Arab origin adapted surnames such as Guerra (originally Harb), Domínguez (Ñeca), Durán (Doura), Lara (Larach), Cristo (Salibe) among other surnames.[4][5]

See also


  1. ^ "Las mil y una historias" (in Spanish). semana.com. 2004.There is an estimated population of 1,500,000 Arabs in Colombia.
  2. ^ a b Fawcett de Posada, Louise; Posada Carbó, Eduardo (1992). "En la tierra de las oportunidades: los sirio-libaneses en Colombia" [In the land of opportunity: the Syrian-Lebanese in Colombia] (PDF). Boletín Cultural y Bibliográfico (in Spanish). publicaciones.banrepcultural.org. 29 (29): 8–11. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  3. ^ Achmawi, Randa (21 July 2009). "Colombia awakens to the Arab world". www2.anba.com.br. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  4. ^ Viloria De la Hoz, Joaquin (28 October 2006). "Los sirio-libaneses" [The Syrian-Lebanese] (in Spanish). semana.com. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  5. ^ Semana. "Se celebra este año el centenario de la inmigración árabe al país. La contribución de esa cultura ha sido definitiva para la Colombia de hoy". Se celebra este año el centenario de la inmigración árabe al país. La contribución de esa cultura ha sido definitiva para la Colombia de hoy. Retrieved 19 September 2017.

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