Infobox Ethnic group
Tige Andrews• Yasser Seirawan• Steve Jobs Mitch Daniels• Jerry Seinfeld
group = Syrian Americans
population = 154,560 [http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/tables/08s0051.xls U.S. Census Bureau: Population by Selected Ancestry Group and Region: 2005] ]
New York, Massachusetts, Michigan, Louisiana, Ohio, Iowa, Texas
American English, Arabic (variants of Syrian Arabic), Assyrian Neo-Aramaic, Syriac, Kurdish, Armenian
Christianity(mostly Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic), Islam(mostly Sunni), Judaism
related-c = Other
Syrian people, Lebanese Americans, Iraqi Americans, Armenian Americans, Assyrian Americans
Syrian Americans are
citizens of the United Statesof Syrian ancestryor nationality. This ethnic group includes Americans of Syrian ancestry, Syrian first generation immigrants, or descendants of Syrians who immigrated to the United States. It is believed that the first significant number of Syrians to arrive to the United States was in 1880.cite web | url =http://www.utica.edu/academic/institutes/ethnic/lebanese.cfm | title =Lebanese and Syrian Americans | accessdate =2007-05-06 | publisher = Utica College] Many of the earliest Syrian Americans settled in New York, Boston, and Detroit. Immigration from Syria to the United States suffered a long hiatus after the United States Congresspassed the Immigration Act of 1924, which restricted immigration. More than forty years later, the Immigration Act of 1965, abolished the quotas and immigration from Syria to the United States saw a surge. An estimated 64,600 Syrians immigrated to the United States in the period between 1961 and 2000.cite web | url =http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/tables/07s0008.xls | title =Immigrants, by Country of Birth: 1961 to 2005 | accessdate =2007-04-29 | publisher = United States Census]
The overwhelming majority of Syrian immigrants to the US from 1880 to 1960 were
Christian; a small minority were Jewish, [A Community of Many Worlds: Arab Americans in New York City, Museum of the City of New York/Syracuse University Press, 2002] whereas MuslimSyrians arrived in the United States chiefly after 1965. According to the United States 2000 Census, there were 142,897 Americans of Syrian ancestry, about 12% of the Arab population in the United States.cite web | url =http://www.census.gov/prod/2003pubs/c2kbr-23.pdf | title =The Arab Population: 2000 | accessdate =2007-04-29 | publisher = United States Census]
It is believed that the first Syrian immigrants arrived in the United States from
Greater Syriain the 1880s and worked as peddlers, selling linen and other similar types of goods.Samovar & Porter (1994), p. 83] Before 1920, the area now known as Syriawas actually part of Greater Syria, an area which included the four modern countries of Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, and Syria itself.cite news |last=Pipes|first=Daniels|title=Greater Syria: Another Lion Roars in the Middle East|publisher =Danielpipes.com (" The Washington Post")| date =1990-10-21| url =http://www.danielpipes.org/article/196| accessdate =2006-05-21] Most immigrants from the region were classified as "Syrian," despite lacking Syrian ethnicity; some were even registered as Syrian Turks as Syria was under Ottoman occupation for 400 years. As a result, some confusion exists when determining the accurate time periods and numbers of early Syrian immigrants.
Most of the early Syrian immigrants came from Christian villages around
Mount Lebanon.Naff (1993), p. 3] According to historianPhilip Hitti, approximately 90,000 "Syrians" arrived in the United States between 1899 and 1919.cite book |last=Hitti |first=Philip |title=The Syrians in America|year=2005|origyear=1924|publisher=Gorgias Press|isbn=1-59333-176-2] An estimated 1,000 official entries per year came from the governorates of Damascusand Aleppo, which are governorates in modern-day Syria, in the period between 1900 and 1916.cite web | url =http://www.everyculture.com/multi/Sr-Z/Syrian-Americans.html | title =Syrian Americans | accessdate =2007-05-21 | publisher =Everyculture.com] Early immigrants settled mainly in Eastern United States, in the cities of New York City, Boston and Detroit and the Paterson, NJ area.
Syrians, like most immigrants to the United States, were motivated to immigrate to the United States to pursue the
American Dreamof economic success. Many Christian Syrians had immigrated to the United States seeking religious freedom and an escape from Ottoman hegemony and occupation, which had started from 1516 until 1916.Suleiman (1999), pp. 1-21] Thousands of immigrants returned to Syria after making money in the United States; these immigrants told tales which inspired further waves of immigrants. Many settlers also sent for their relatives.
Although the number of Syrian immigrants was not sizable, the Ottoman government set constraints on emigration in order to maintain its
populacein Greater Syria. The United States Congresspassed the Immigration Act of 1924, which greatly reduced Syrian immigration to the United States.cite book |last=McCarus |first=Ernest |title=The Development of Arab-American Identity|year=1994|publisher= University of MichiganPress|isbn=047210439X|pages=p. 26] However, the quotas were annulled by the Immigration Act of 1965, which opened the doors again to Syrian immigrants. 4,600 Syrians immigrated to the United States in the mid-1960s. Due to the Arab-Israeli and religious conflicts in Syria during this period, many Syrians immigrated to the United States seeking a democratic haven, where they could live in freedom without political suppression. An estimated 64,600 Syrians immigrated to the United States in the period between 1961 and 2000, of which ten percent have been admitted under the refugee acts.
According to the United States 2000 Census, there are 142,897 Americans of Syrian ancestry living in the United States.
New York Cityhas the biggest concentration of Syrian Americans in the United States. Other urban areas, including Boston, Dearborn, New Orleans, Toledo, Cedar Rapids, and Houston have large Syrian populations. Syrian Americans are also numerous in Southern California(i.e. the Los Angelesand San Diego areas) and Arizona, mostly are descendants of farm laborers invited with their farm skills to irrigate the deserts in the early 20th century. Fact|date=March 2008
The traditional clothing of the first Syrian immigrants in the United States, along with their occupation as
peddlers, led to some xenophobia. Dr. A. J. McLaughlin, the United States health officer at Marine Hospital, described Syrians as "parasites in their peddling habits." U.S. authorities claimed that Syrians had no right to become naturalized because they were Asian and did not belong to the white race. However, Syrians reacted quickly to assimilate fully into their new culture. Immigrants Anglicized their names, adopted the English language and common Christian denominations.Samovar & Porter (1994), p. 84] Syrians did not congregate in urban enclaves; many of the immigrants who had worked as peddlers were able to interact with Americans on a daily basis. This helped them to absorb and learn the language and customs of their new homeland. Additionally, military service during World War Iand World War IIhelped accelerate assimilation. Assimilation of early Syrian immigrants was so successful that it has become difficult to recognize the ancestors of many families which have become completely Americanized.
Post 1965 Immigration was mostly
Muslim, and unlike their Chrisitian counterparts they faced a somewhat greater difficulty in assmiliating because of their Islamic faith and the "back to the roots"/anti-assimilationist trend that gripped America in the 1960s and 1970s. Generally, they are not overly desirous of giving up their identity as Arabs, which might be a result of the bloom in multiculturalism and political correctnessto respect their Islamic religious customs and traditions in the United States.
Christian Syrian Americans arrived to the United States in the late 19th century. Most Christian Syrian Americans are
Greek Orthodox.cite web | url =http://atheism.about.com/library/FAQs/islam/countries/bl_SyriaChristianity.htm | title =Religion in Syria - Christianity | accessdate =2007-05-22 | publisher = About.com] There are also many Catholic Syrian Americans; most branches of Catholicismare of the Eastern rite, such as Maronite Catholics, Melkite Greek Catholics, Armenian Catholics, Syrian Catholics, and Chaldean Catholics. There are only few minor differences between the different branches of Catholicism; such differences include the language/s church services are conducted, and the belief in papal infallibility. A few Christian Syrian Americans are Protestant. The first Syrian American church was founded in Brooklyn, New Yorkin 1895 by Saint Raphael of Brooklyn.cite web | url =http://www.antiochian.org/saint_raphael | title =St. Raphael of Brooklyn | accessdate =2007-05-22 | publisher =Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America] There are currently hundreds of Eastern Orthodox churches and missions in the United States. [cite web | url=http://www.antiochian.org/parishsearch?parishname=&citymetro=&zone=&diocese=&clergy=&Submit3=Find | title =Orthodox Churches (Parishes) | accessdate =2007-05-30 | publisher =The Antiochian Orthodox Church] Saint Nicholasand Saint Georgeare popular saints for the Orthodox.
Muslim Syrian Americans arrived chiefly after 1965.cite book |last=Williams|first=Raymond|title=Christian Pluralism in the United States: The Indian Experience|year=1996|publisher=
Cambridge UniversityPress|isbn=0521570166|pages=p. 11] The largest sect in Islam is the Sunni sect, forming 74% of the Muslim Syrian population.cite web |url=https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/sy.html |title=Syria |year=2007 |work= The World Factbook] The second largest sect in Islam in Syria is the Alawitesect, a religious sect that originated in Shia Islambut separated from other Shiite Islam groups in the ninth and tenth centuries.cite web | url =http://atheism.about.com/library/FAQs/islam/countries/bl_SyriaAlawi.htm | title =Religion in Syria - Alawi Islam | accessdate =2007-05-22 | publisher = About.com] Most, if not all, Alawi Syrians come from the rural areas of Latakia Governorate. Druzes form the third largest sect of Islam in Syria, which is a relatively small religious sect. Early Syrian immigrants included Druze peddlers. Muslim Syrian Americans have often found it difficult practicing their religion in the United States; For example, some Muslims, who are required to pray five times a day as part of Muslim rite, argue that there aren't enough mosques in the United States. Syrian Jewsfirst immigrated to the United States around 1908 and settled mostly in New York.cite book |last=Zenner|first=Walter|title=A Global Community: The Jews from Aleppo, Syria|year=2000|publisher= Wayne State UniversityPress|isbn=0814327915|pages=p. 127] Initially they lived on the Lower East Side; later settlements were in Bensonhurst and Ocean Parkway in Flatbush, Brooklyn. The Syrian Jewish community estimates its population at around 50,000.cite news| url =http://www.jewishaz.com/jewishnews/041112/syrian.shtml | title =Syrian Jews mark 100 years in U.S. | accessdate =2007-05-20 |author= Kornfeld, Alana B. Elias | publisher ="Jewish News of Greater Phoenix"]
Early Syrian Americans were not involved politically. Business owners were usually Republican, meanwhile labor workers were usually Democrats. Second generation Syrian Americans were the first to be elected for political roles. In light of the
Arab-Israeli conflict, many Syrian Americans tried to affect American foreign policy by joining Arab political groups in the United States.Samovar & Porter (1994), p. 85] In the early 1970s, the National Association of Arab Americanswas formed to negate the stereotypes commonly associated with Arabs in American media. Syrian Americans were also part of the Arab American Institute, established in 1985, which supports and promotes Arab American candidates, or candidates commiserative with Arabs and Arab Americans, for office. Mitch Daniels, the current Governor of Indiana, is the son of Syrian immigrants.
The majority of the early Syrian immigrants arrived in the United States seeking better jobs; they usually engaged in basic commerce, especially peddling. Syrian American peddlers found their jobs comfortable since peddling required little training and mediocre vocabulary. Syrian American peddlers served as the distribution medium for the products of small manufacturers. Syrian peddlers traded mostly in dry goods, primarily clothing. Networks of Syrian traders and peddlers across the United States aided the distribution of Syrian settlements; by 1902, Syrians could be found working in
Seattle, Washington. Most of these peddlers were successful, and, with time, and after raising enough capital, some became importers and wholesalers, recruiting newcomers and supplying them with merchandise. By 1908, there were 3,000 Syrian-owned businesses in the United States. By 1910, the first Syrian millionaires had emerged.cite book |last=Levinson|first=David|coauthors=Ember, Melvin|title=American Immigrant Cultures: Builders of a Nation|year=1997|publisher=Simon & Schuster Macmillan|isbn=0028972139|pages=p. 580]
Syrian Americans gradually started to work in various métiers; many worked as physicians, lawyers, and engineers. Many Syrian Americans also worked in the bustling auto industry, bringing about large Syrian American gatherings in areas like
Dearborn, Michigan.cite book |last=Giggie|first=John|coauthors=Winston, Diane|title=Faith in the Market: Religion and the Rise of Urban Commercial Culture|year=2002|publisher= Rutgers UniversityPress|isbn=0813530997|pages=p. 204] Later Syrian emigrants served in fields like banking, medicine, and computer science. Syrian Americans have a different occupational distribution than all Americans. According to the 2000 census, 42% of the Syrian Americans worked in management and professional occupations, compared with 34% of their counterparts in the total population; additionally, more Syrian Americans worked in sales than all American workers. However, Syrian Americans worked less in the other work domains like farming, transportation, construction, etc. than all American workers.
The median level of earnings for Syrian men and women is higher than the national earning median; employed Syrian men earned an average $46,058 per year, compared with $37,057 for all Americans and $41,687 for Arab Americans. Syrian American families also had a higher median income than all families and lower poverty rates than those of the general population.
Syrians value strong family ties. Unlike young Americans, young Syrians find leaving their family unnecessary to set up their independence; the reason being, is that Syrian society just like
Southwest Asia, North Africaand the wider Eastern world, places great emphasis on the group rather than the individual. In the West the individual is key and the group is secondary. Respect and social status are important in Syrian societies. Men are respected for their financial success or their honesty and sincerity. Syrians are characterized by their magnanimity and graciousness, ethics which are integral to Syrian life.cite book |last=Davis|first=Scott|title=The Road from Damascus: A Journey Through Syria|year=2002|publisher=Cune Press|isbn=9781885942845|url=http://www.cunepress.net/Book/index.cfm?GCOI=88594100145700] Although these are virtuous characteristics, many have criticized Syrians, and Arabs in general, for a tendency toward "overstatement, equivocation, intractability, intense emotionalism, and at times, aggressiveness."cite book |last=Naff |first=Alixa |title= Becoming American: The Early Arab Immigrant Experience |year=1993 |publisher=Carbondale, Southern Illinois University Press|isbn= 9780585108094] However, much of the Syrian traditions have diminished with time, mainly due to the fast pace of life in America which encourages individual independence.
Syrians consider eating an important aspect of social life. There are many Syrian dishes which have become popular in the United States. Unlike many Western foods, Syrian foods take more time to cook, are less expensive and usually more healthy.
Pitabread ("khubz"), which is round flat bread, and " hummus", a dip made of ground chickpeas, sesame tahini, lemon juice, and garlic, are two popular Syrian foods. " Baba ghanoush", or eggplant spreads, is also a dish made by Syrians. Popular Syrian salads include " tabbouleh" and " fattoush". The Syrian cuisine includes other dishes like stuffed zucchini("mahshe"), dolma, kebab, " kibbeh", " kibbeh nayyeh", " mujaddara", shawarma, and " shanklish". Syrians often serve selections of appetizers, known as " meze", before the main course. " Za'atar", minced beef, and cheese manakishare popular hors d'oeuvre. Syrians are also well-known for their cheese. A popular Syrian drink is the "arak" beverage. One of the popular desserts made by Syrians is the " baklava", which is made of filopastry filled with chopped nuts and soaked in honey.cite book |last=Mahdi|first=Ali Akbar|title=Teen Life in the Middle East|year=2003|publisher=Greenwood Press|isbn=031331893X|pages=pp. 189-191|url=http://books.google.com/books?id=-ewAe5DwteQC&pg=PA190&ots=UUhACPKtjw&dq=Syrian+cuisine&sig=tuIXS5X9h6pWLWo5eqXPmRWyXY4]
Syrian music includes several genres and styles of
musicranging from Arab classical to Arabic pop musicand from secular to sacred music. Syrian music is characterized by an emphasis on melodyand rhythm, as opposed to harmony. There are some genres of Syrian music that are polyphonic, but typically, most Syrian and Arabic music is homophonic. Syrian music is also characterized by the predominance of vocal music. The prototypical Arabic music ensemble in Egypt and Syria is known as the "takht", and relies on a number of musical instruments that represent a standardized tone system, and are played with generally standardized performance techniques, thus displaying similar details in construction and design. Such musical instruments include the oud, kanun, rabab, ney, violin, riqand "tableh".cite book |last=Toumar|first=Habib Hassan|title=The Music of the Arabs|year=2003|publisher=Amadeus|isbn=1574670816] The Jews of Syria sang pizmonim.
Modern Syrian music has incorporated instruments from the West, including the
electric guitar, cello, double bassand oboe, and incorporated influences from jazzand other foreign musical styles.
Traditional dress is not very common with Syrian Americans, and even native Syrians; modern Western clothing is conventional in both Syria and the United States. Ethnic dance performers wear a "shirwal", which are loose, baggy pants with an elastic waist. Muslim Syrian women wear a "
hijab", which is a headscarfworn by Muslim women to cover their hair. There are various styles of "hijab".
Syrian Americans celebrate many religious
holidays. Christian Syrian Americans celebrate most Christian holidays usually celebrated in the United States. They celebrate Christmasand Easter, but since most Syrians are Eastern Orthodox, they celebrate Easter on a different Sunday than most other Americans. Some Christians celebrate various Saints' days. Syrian American Jews celebrate the Jewish holidays, such as Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Purim, Passoverand Shavuot. Few Syrians celebrate Syria's independence day, April 17. As American citizens, many Syrians celebrate American holidays like Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Thanksgiving Day.
Muslim Syrian Americans celebrate three main
Muslim holidays: Ramadan, Eid ul-Fitr (Lesser Bairam), and Eid ul-Adha (Greater Bairam). Ramadanis the ninth month of the Islamic year, during which Muslims fast from dawn to sunset; Muslims resort to self-discipline to cleanse themselves spiritually. After Ramadan is over, Muslims celebrate Eid ul-Fitr, when Muslims break their fasting and revel exuberantly. Muslims also celebrate Eid ul-Adha(which means "The Festival of Sacrifice") 70 days after at the end of the Islamic year, a holiday which is held along with the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, " Hajj".cite web|url=http://damascus.usembassy.gov/holidays.html| title =Holidays | accessdate =2007-05-24 | publisher =US Embassy in Damascus]
Dating and marriage
Dating among assimilated Syrian Americans, especially Christians, is widely acceptable. However, conservative and traditionalist Syrian Americans prefer arranged relationships and disfavor casual dating. Muslims can only date after a ceremonial engagement. After completing their marriage contact, "kitabt al-kitab" (Arabic: كتابة الكتاب, which means "writing the book"), a Muslim couple have a period that ranges from a few months to a year or more to get used to living with one another. After this time period, a
weddingtakes place and fulfills the marriage. Muslims tend to marry other Muslims only. Unable to find other suitable Muslim Syrian Americans, many Muslim Syrian American women have married other Muslim Americans.
Syrian American marriages are usually very strong; this is reflected by the low divorce rates among Syrian Americans, which are below the average rates in the United States. Generally, Syrian American partners tend to have more children than average American partners; Syrian American partners also tend to have children at early stages of their marriages. According to the United States 2000 Census, almost 62% of Syrian American households were married-couple households.cite web | url =http://www.census.gov/prod/2005pubs/censr-21.pdf | title =We the People of Arab Ancestry in the United States | accessdate =2007-05-20 | publisher =
United States Census]
Syrian Americans, including the earliest immigrants, have always placed a high premium on
education. Like other Americans, Syrian Americans view education as a necessity. Generally, Syrian and other Arab Americans are more highly educated than the average American. In the 2000 census it was reported that the proportion of Syrian Americans to achieve a bachelor's degreeor higher is one and a half times that of the total American population. Many Syrian Americans now work as engineers, scientists, druggists, and medical doctors.
Syrians are mainly Arabic speakers. While some may speak the formal
literary Arabic, many Syrians speak Syrian Arabic, a dialect which belongs to the Levantine Arabicfamily of dialects. There are also sub-dialects in Syrian Arabic; for example, people from Aleppohave a distinct and distinguishable accent, one that differs considerably from that of people from Homsor Al-Hasakah. Syrians can usually comprehend and understand the dialects of most Arabs, especially those who speak any form of Levantine Arabic.
Many old Syrian American families have lost their linguistic traditions due to the fact that many parents do not teach their children Arabic. Newer immigrants, however, maintain their language traditions. The 2000 census shows that 79.9% of Syrian Americans speak English "very well". Throughout the United States, there are
schools which offer Arabic language classes; there are also some Eastern Orthodox churches which hold Arabic services. Also to note Syriaand Lebanonwere briefly under French rule between 1918 and 1943 when they obtained independence, thus many Syrian Americans are familiar with the French language.
Notable people and contributions
Sometimes some confusion occurs between Greater Syria and the modern Syria when determining the place of origin of the earliest Syrian Americans. However, the following list comprises notable Americans who are originally people of modern Syrian heritage.
F. Murray Abraham(born 24 October 1939), an Assyrian American actor. Abraham won the Academy Awardfor Best Actor for his role as Antonio Salieriin the 1984 film "Amadeus". His career after "Amadeus" inspired the name of the phenomenon dubbed " F. Murray Abraham syndrome", attributed to actors who, after winning an Oscar, have difficulty obtaining comparable success and recognition despite having recognizable talent. [cite web | url = http://www.film.com/news/story/entertainmentoscarscursedc/13303376| title =Is winning an Oscar a curse or a blessing?| accessdate =2007-05-20 | publisher =Film.com| author =Zeidler, Sue]
Moustapha Akkad( July 1 1930– November 11, 2005) was a Syrian American film directorand producer originally from Aleppo; Akkad is best known for producing the series of "Halloween" films, and for directing the " Lion of the Desert" and " Mohammad, Messenger of God" films.cite news| url = http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/11/12/db1203.xml| title =Moustapaha Akkad| accessdate =2007-05-20 | publisher =" The Daily Telegraph"]
Steve Jobs(born 24 February 1955), the co-founder and CEO of Apple, the largest Disney shareholder [cite news|url=http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/06_06/b3970001.htm|title=Steve Jobs' Magic Kingdom|publisher=" BusinessWeek"|accessdate=2006-09-20|date= 2006-01-06] , and a member of Disney's Board of Directors. Jobs is considered a leading figure in both the computer and entertainment industries. [cite news|url=http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/04_44/b3906025_mz072.htm|title=Steve Jobs: He Thinks Different|publisher=" BusinessWeek"|accessdate=2006-09-20| last=Burrows|first=Peter|date= 2004-11-04]
Paul Anka(born July 30, 1941), a Canadian American singerand song writer of Syrian/Lebanese descent.cite web | url = http://www.history-of-rock.com/paul_anka.htm| title =Paul Anka| accessdate =2007-05-20 | publisher =Historyofrock.com] Paul Anka rose to fame after many successful 1950s songs, earning him the status of a teen idol. Note that some sources, like " The Canadian Encyclopedia" and "Time" Magazine, suggest that Paul Anka is of Syrian descentcite web | url = http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=U1ARTU0000084| title =Anka, Paul| accessdate =2007-03-26 | publisher =" The Canadian Encyclopedia"] cite web | url = http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,897902-1,00.html| title =Paul the Comforter| accessdate =2007-03-26 | publisher ="Time" Magazine] while several other sources, including Anka's official website, suggest that he is of Lebanese descent.cite news| url = http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A26709-2005Apr4.html| title =Paul Anka's Deutsch Treat| accessdate =2007-03-26 | author= Leiby, Richard | publisher =" The Washington Post"] cite web | url = http://www.paulanka.com/html/about/faq.php| title =FAQ| accessdate =2007-03-26 | publisher =Paul Anka's official website]
Kelly Slater, a successful professional surferand an 8 time world champion.
Mitch Daniels(born 7 April 1949), a first-generation Syrian American and the current Governor of the U.S. stateof Indiana. [cite web|url=http://www.in.gov/gov/|title=Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels|publisher=Official Indiana state site|accessdate=2006-05-20]
Louay M. Safi(born September 15, 1955, is a scholar and Human Rightsactivist, and a vocal critic of the Far Right. Author of numerous books and articles, Dr. Safi is active in the debate on nuclear race, social and political development, and Islam-West issues. He is the chairman of the Syrian American Congress.
Yasser Seirawan(born 24 March, 1960), a chessgrandmaster and 4-time US-champion.cite web|url=http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=14075|title=Yasser Seirawan|publisher=Chessgames.com|accessdate=2006-05-20] Seirawan is the 69th best chess player in the world and the 2nd in the United States.
Jerry Seinfeld(born April 29, 1954), a comedian, actor, and writerwhose mother is of Syrian Jewish ancestry. He is best known for playing a semi-fictional version of himself in the long-running sitcom " Seinfeld", which he co-created and executively produced. [cite web|url=http://www.vividseats.com/theater/jerry-seinfeld-tickets.html|title=Jerry Seinfeld|publisher=Vividseats.com|accessdate=2006-05-20]
Wafa Sultan(born 1958), a well-known secularactivist and vocal critic of Islam.cite web|url=http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1187385,00.html|title=Wafa Sultan|publisher="Time" Magazine|accessdate=2006-05-20|author=Nomani, Asra] In 2006, Sultan was chosen by "Time" Magazine to be on the Time 100list of the 100 most influential people in 2006.cite web|url=http://www.time.com/time/2006/time100/|title=The TIME 100, 2006|publisher="Time" Magazine|accessdate=2006-05-20]
October 2 1971), an American singerof Syrian descent who had a number of teen pophits during the late 1980s. [cite web|url=http://www.foxytunes.com/artist/tiffany|title=Tiffany|publisher=Foxytunes.com|accessdate=2006-05-20]
Paula Abdul(born 19 June 1962), a television personality, jewelry designer, multi-platinum Grammy-winning singer, and Emmy Award-winning choreographerof Syrian Jewish ancestry.cite news | last =Eichner| first =Itamar| coauthors=| title =Israeli minister, American Idol| pages =| publisher =YNetNew.com| date = 2006-11-17| url =http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3328923,00.html| accessdate =2006-05-20] According to Abdul, she has sold over 53 million records to date.cite web|url=http://www.realitytvworld.com/news/paula-abdul-dishes-on-antonella-barba-idol-and-her-media-portrayal-4850.php|title=Paula Abdul dishes on Antonella Barba, 'Idol,' and her media portrayal|publisher=RealityTVWorld.com|accessdate=2006-05-20|date=2007-03-14|author= Rocchio, Christopher] Abdul found renewed fame as a judge on the highly rated television series " American Idol".
Hala Gorani(born 1 March 1970), a news anchor and correspondentfor CNN International. Gorani was born to a Syrian family originally from Aleppo.cite news |last=Abbas|first=Faisal|title=Q&A with CNN’s Hala Gorani|publisher =" Asharq Al-Awsat"| date = 2006-01-17| url =http://www.aawsat.com/english/news.asp?section=5&id=3459| accessdate =2006-05-20]
Tige Andrews( March 19, 1920- January 27, 2007) was an Emmy-nominated character actorwho was best known for his role as "Captain Adam Greer" on the television series " The Mod Squad".cite news|title='Mod Squad' actor Tige Andrews, 86, dies|publisher =" USA Today"| date = 2006-02-05| url =http://www.usatoday.com/life/people/2007-02-05-tige-andrews-obit_x.htm| accessdate =2006-05-20]
Dan Hedaya(born July 24, 1940), a prolific Jewish Syrian American character actornotable for his many Italian Americanfilm roles.cite web | url = http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000445/bio| title =Dan Hedaya| accessdate =2007-05-20 | publisher = Internet Movie Database]
Shannon Elizabeth(born September 7, 1973), an actress and fashion model.cite web|url=http://www.aaiusa.org/arab-americans/23/famous-arab-americans|title=Shannon Elizabeth|accessdate=2008-06-28|publisher=www.aaiusa.org]
Kurtis Mantronik(born September 4, 1965), a hip-hop, electro funk, and dance music artist, DJ, remixer, and producer. Mantronik was the leader of the old-school band Mantronix.
Mona Simpson(born 14 June 1957), a Syrian American novelistand essayist;cite web|url=http://usinfo.state.gov/journals/itsv/0200/ijse/abinader.htm|title=Children of al-Mahjar: Arab American Literature Spans a Century|accessdate=2007-05-20|publisher=USINFO|author=Abinader, Elmaz] Simpson is also a sister of Steve Jobs.cite news |last=Campbell|first=Duncan|title=Steve Jobs|publisher =" The Guardian"| date =2004-06-18| url =http://arts.guardian.co.uk/features/story/0,11710,1241745,00.html| accessdate =2006-05-20]
Wentworth Miller(born 2 June 1972), an actor of Syrian descent who achieved fame as Michael Scofieldin the television series " Prison Break".cite news|url=http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2003/11/10/031110ta_talk_paumgarten|title= The Race Card|publisher = " The New Yorker"|author= Paumgarten, Nick|date = 2003-11-10|accessdate = 2007-05-20]
Vic Tayback( 6 January 1930– 25 May 1990) was an actor of Syrian descent. Tayback won two Golden Globe Awards for his role in the television series "Alice".cite web|url=http://movies2.nytimes.com/gst/movies/filmography.html?p_id=69979|title=Vic Tayback|accessdate=2007-05-20|publisher=" The New York Times"]
Michael Ansara(born 15 April 1922), a Syrian American stage, screen and voice actor.
Robert M. Isaac(born 27 January 1928) was the Republican Mayorof Colorado Springs, Colorado. Elected in 1979, he was the first elected Mayor of the history of Colorado Springs, serving through 1997.
Rosemary Barkett(born 1939) was the first woman to serve on the Florida Supreme Court, and the first woman Chief Justice of that court. She currently serves as a federal judgeon the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Her parents, Assad and Mary Barkett, were Catholics who immigrated from Syria to Mexico and then to the U.S.
Jack Marshall (author), an author and poet born to an Iraqifather and Syrian mother of Sephardic Jewishheritage.
Fawwaz Ulaby, currently the R. Jamieson and Betty Williams Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan, and the former vice president for research.
Alan Jabbour, a folklorist and a musician.
*cite book |last=aut|Abu-Laban |first=aut|Baha |coauthors =aut|Suleiman, Michael |title=Arab Americans: Continuity and Change |year=1989 |series=AAUG monograph series |publisher=Association of Arab-American University Graduates |location=Belmont,
*cite book |last=aut|Kayal |first=aut|Philip |coauthors =aut|Kayal, Joseph |title=The Syrian Lebanese in America: A Study in Religion and Assimilation |year=1975 |series=The Immigrant Heritage of America series |publisher= [New York] , Twayne Publishers |isbn= 9780805784121
*cite book |last=aut|Naff |first=aut|Alixa |title= Becoming American: The Early Arab Immigrant Experience |year=1985 |publisher=Carbondale,
Southern Illinois University Press|isbn= 9780585108094
*cite book |last=aut|Saliba |first=aut|Najib |title=Emigration from Syria and the Syrian-Lebanese Community of Worcester, MA |year=1992 |publisher=Antakya Press |location=Ligonier,
*cite book |last=aut|Samovar |first=aut|L. A.|coauthors=aut|Porter, R. E. |title=Intercultural Communication: A Reader |year=1994 |publisher=Thomson Wadsworth |isbn= 0534644406
*cite book |last=aut|Suleiman |first=aut|Michael|title=Arabs in America: Building a New Future|year=1999 |publisher=NetLibrary|isbn= 0585365539
*cite book |last=aut|Younis |first=aut|Adele L. |title=The Coming of the Arabic-Speaking People to the United States |year=1989 |publisher=Center for Migration Studies |location=
Staten Island, New York|isbn= 9780934733403 |oclc= 31516579
* [http://www.syrianamericanwomen.org/ Syrian American Woman's Association]
* [http://sacongress.org/ Syrian American Congress]
* [http://syrianamericanclub.com/ Syrian American Club]
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