An AP story about the surging Arab population in the United States had the following quote, which I found a bit surprising. To wit:
“It would be better to come to America than Europe or Canada,” said Zak Trad, 33, of Anaheim, Calif., who came from Lebanon three years ago. “It’s the largest Arab community not in an Arab country. I didn’t think I would be a stranger here.”
I understand that he is but one individual, but Monsieur Trad’s ignorance strikes me as rather remarkable. I wonder how widespread his notion of Arab populations outside of the Middle East might be? While I don’t expect people “out there” to know much about Canada, our proportional Arab population is greater than that of the U.S. Indeed, Toronto had 42,830 Arabs according to the 2001 census, second in North America only to New York City, at 69,985 (Dearborn, Michigan is third at 29,181).
But never mind Canada…surely Arab populations in Europe are huge? France? Germany? Italy? Spain? While the U.S. has 1.2 million Arabs, I know anecdotally that Germany has some 2 million Turks alone. And France? One word–Algeria.