写真

Photographer's Note

The Metropolitan Detroit Area is home to one of the largest Arab and Chaldean population concentrations in the world. It's estimated that the population of the three counties around the heart of Detroit includes 300,000 Arab-Americans. At the center of this population is Dearborn which has the highest density of Arabs outside of the Middle East. Approximately 30,000 of Dearborn's 100,000 people are Arab-American. The population is centered mainly in the east end, with Yemeni populations in the south end. The city offers many Arab-American stores and restaurants, over 100 on the main Arab business strip of Warren. There are also two large mosques in Dearborn, a recently expanded Sunni Mosque in the south end and a Shi'ite Mosque that just opened and is believed to be the largest in the United States.

The first Arab-Americans arrived at the end of the 19th century but by the 1930s there were still a relatively small number, 9000, in the area. The vast majority arrived after WWII, the creation of Israel and the ensuing conflicts. Many more arrived during the devastating Lebanese Civil War and the Iraq-Iran War. The population centers are split on opposite sides of Detroit, with the Arab-Muslims centered around Dearborn on the West Side of Detroit and the Arab-Christians on the East Side of Detroit. They have set themselves up as entrepreneurs owning an estimated 80 per cent of the service stations and managing 80 percent of the grocery stores in the Detroit area. There are also approximately 100 Arab organizations in Metropolitan Detroit, including social clubs, radio and television stations and community groups.

The most well known group, ACCESS, helped found the Arab-American National Museum, the first of its kind in the United States. It is located directly across the street from Dearborn's City Hall and squeezed between a bank and a sports bar. It contains areas for moving exhibits as well as a large collection of artifacts and documents from famous Arab-Americans as well as average people. This ranges from auto racer Bobby Rahal's helmet to a decorated luggage trunk carried over by a Yemeni American decades ago.

Here is a population breakdown:

37%: Syria/Lebanon
35%: Iraq
12%: Palestine and Jordan
9%: Yemen
7%: Other

75 per cent born outside the U.S.


Note: Shutter speed actually 2.5 seconds ISO 50

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Additional Photos by Paul Mastrogiacomo (pamastro) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2679 W: 164 N: 2696] (7296)
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