LOS ÁRABES OF NEW MEXICO
Compadres from a Distant Land
By Monika Ghattas
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At the outset, Los Árabes (Arabic-speaking individuals) were peddlers, carrying a variety of wares that often included exotic items from the Holy Land. These skilled cross-cultural traders expected to strike it rich in the United States and then return to their homeland on the shores of the eastern Mediterranean. Some continued westward; others put down roots in immigrant ghettos in the East and Midwest or traveled back across the sea. A few, however, decided to settle in New Mexico and fulfill the dream of owning their own business. The community grew quickly as family members, former neighbors, and hometown friends joined the original group.
Why were they attracted to this area? What conditions in New Mexico facilitated their rapid and almost seamless acculturation? Hardworking, imaginative, and enterprising, Los Árabes of New Mexico became successful businessmen and prominent entrepreneurs, who enriched this state with their unique culture, their cheerful perseverance, and boundless enthusiasm.
Monika Ghattas was first intrigued by this topic while she was working on her PhD degree in European history at the University of New Mexico. She finally found the time to pursue this story after she retired from Central New Mexico Community College where she taught courses in European and Far East history for more than twenty years. Born in Germany, she has lived in New Mexico for more than fifty years and continues to be captivated by its vibrant culture and rich history.
PRAISE FOR THIS BOOK
6 x 9