LEBANESE COMMUNITY

Inspired by the vision and objectives of the Arab American Association that is based in Arizona, the Lebanese Americans of Arizona likewise aspire to become the bridge that connects the minority to the majority. The online community Larza is built by concerned Lebanese American residents of Arizona who noticed the expanding distance between Lebanese Americans and between other Arab Americans. The Larza online community will be the foremost information hub where interested people, Arab Americans and other nationalities, can gain access to valuable information about the state and its Arab American, particularly Lebanese American, communities.

The United States is home to more than 2 million Arab immigrants. You can find Arab American communities in all the fifty states but survey reports declare that two-thirds of the population is concentrated in 10 states and 1/3 of the total resides in Michigan, New York, and California.

Approximately half of the entire Arab American population is of Lebanese descent. The Lebanese American population is said to be concentrated in the Midwest. The National Arab American Demographics in 2008 report that Egyptian Americans are concentrated in Tennessee, New Jersey and Georgia. The Palestinian population appears to be concentrated in Illinois and California while Iraqis live mainly in Michigan. Syrian Americans are a plenty in Rhode Island while Sudanese population are greater in South Dakota and Nebraska.

In Arizona, Moroccans constitute the largest part of the Arab immigrant population and only 5% are of Lebanese roots. There is no specific data confirming the concentration of Lebanese Americans in Arizona but the report prepared in 2011 by the Arab American Institute Foundation confirms that Arab Americans in Arizona live in 14 of the 15 counties in the state.

American Lebanese Making Great Contributions

Since the 1880s, immigrants from the Arabic-speaking countries continue to settle in the United States. The Arab American population has truly integrated themselves into the American culture as they work and succeed in all sectors of society.  From the descendants of earlier immigrants to the more recent settlers, they have naturally assimilated themselves with the American culture, politics, and civilization. Most have become leaders in many organizations and professions and contributed much to the development of the U.S.

In a survey done by the Census Bureau in 2000, 60% of Arab American adults were identified to be on the labor force. A good 73% of working Arab Americans are employed in professional, managerial, and technical fields. Eighty eight percent of the surveyed Arab Americans work in the private sector.  The American Community Survey in 2008 even reports that Arab Americans have a greater percentage of Bachelors and Graduate Degress than other Americans. More than half of the total percentage of Arab ancestry population speaks another language aside from Arabic and English.

The Arab American community clearly shows how committed they are in achieving success in all aspects and making great contributions to the community where they belong and to the whole American community.

In the Spotlight: Lebanese Americans

Although history and statistics claim that Lebanese Americans are relatively latecomers to America, they were able to fully integrate themselves into the American culture and made valuable contributions in a variety of fields.

One of the most noticeable contributions of Lebanese Americans in the American culture is the cuisine. Americans not of Lebanese descent appreciate Lebanese restaurants and bakeries and became regular patrons of the gastronomy. The Lebanese Americans’ effort to oppose discrimination and negative images against Arab people is also recognized. The most prominent Lebanese American to date is probably the great poet and writer, Kahlil Gibran.

You may find quite a good number of notable Lebanese American doctors and professors in the most prestigious schools and medical institutions in the United States. In Boston, the Lebanese ancestry population was found to be more educated and is able to make more money than the average population. In every state, you can find dedicated teachers, engineers, bankers, realtors, and business owners or Lebanese descent who continues to define their place in the society and make a name for themselves and for the community. We cannot deny the fact that the Lebanese American community is a thriving part of the American society.

The Larza Community

And just like this commendable representation of not just the Lebanese American community but the whole Arab community as well, Larza – the group of Lebanese Americans in Arizona – wishes to do the same; that is, to promote awareness of the integrity of the Lebanese American community and form a more harmonious relationship with the whole American society.

Larza envisions to become the voice of peace. Larza strives to reach out to the Lebanese American population, the whole Arab American population, and the American community to communicate their objective of forming an interconnected and more unified society. Through service and through camaraderie, a peaceful and more harmonious community is not so difficult to achieve.