In this illustrated lecture, Dr. Linda Jacobs tells the never-before-told story of the Arab immigrants who settled in New York City, beginning in 1880. They came primarily from what was then known as “Greater Syria,” and settled in tenements on the lower west side of Manhattan, founding an Arabic-speaking enclave just south of the future site of the World Trade Center. Arriving in the New World with little more than their resourcefulness and business acumen, these immigrants quickly built a thriving “colony” that was the cultural and economic center of the Syrian diaspora in America.
The event is sponsored by the Peace and Justice Studies Program, the Urban Studies Program, the Holocaust, Genocide and Interfaith (HGI) Education Center, the Office of Mission, and the Women and Gender Studies (WAGS) Program.
Linda K. Jacobsis a New York-based scholar and author. She holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Archaeology/Anthropology and spent many years working on archaeological excavations and economic development projects in the Middle East. She is the author of Digging In: An American Archaeologist Uncovers the Real Iran (2012) and a series of articles about the nineteenth-century Syrian colony in New York. Dr. Jacobs is committed to promoting Middle Eastern culture and knowledge in the United States, establishing the Violet Jabara Charitable Trust, and sitting on the boards of the Near East Foundation and the Moise Khayrallah Center for Lebanese Diaspora Studies. She has also served on the board of the American University of Beirut. All four of her grandparents were members of the New York Syrian Colony.