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Becoming American

Becoming American

The Early Arab Immigrant Experience

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Alixa Naff


Paperback (Other formats: NLEB)
392 pages, 6 x 9, 21 illustrations


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About the Book

A unique study in American immigra­tion and assimilation history that also provides a special view of one of the smaller ethnic groups in American society.

Naff focuses on the pre-World War I pio­neering generation of Arabic-speaking immigrants, the generation that set the patterns for settlement and assimilation. Unlike many immigrants who were drawn to the United States by dreams of industrial jobs or to escape religious or economic persecution, most of these ar­tisans and owners of small, disconnected plots of land came to America to engage in the enterprise of peddling. Most planned to stay two or three years and re­turn to their homelands.


Alixa Naff, author of The Arab Americans, an illustrated history for young adults, is donor and curator of the Faris and Yamna Naff Arab American Collection at the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institution.


"I found Becoming American spellbinding and could not put it down until I finished it."—Farah Gilanshah, MESA Bulletin