Brazilians Study Arab Religious and Cultural Influence on Brazil

Arabs in Brazil The Arab influence, from decimal numbers to the musical instruments that descend from the lute, be it in religion, architecture or economy, is analyzed by the dossier "Arabs in Brazil," of the Brazilian National Library's History Magazine, on Brazilian newsstands right now.

Furthermore, by means of project "Biblioteca Fazendo História" (Library Making History), the publication will promote the debate "írabes no Brasil" (Arabs in Brazil), this Tuesday at 4 pm, at the Machado de Assis Auditorium of the National Library Foundation. in Rio de Janeiro.

Lecturers at the event will include anthropologist Paulo Gabriel Hilu da Rocha Pinto, who is the coordinator of the center of Studies on the Middle East (Neom) of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, and the historian Maurí­cio Parada, who is a professor at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio).

The historian is going to present the context in which Arab immigrants arrived in the country, especially in the 1930s and 1040s. According to the historian's article, the influence of Arab culture first arrived in Brazil with Portuguese colonizers, who were in turn dominated for eight centuries by the Moors, who disseminated their habits and even their language in the Iberian Peninsula. Furthermore, Parada will approach the problems of the Arab world then and now.

The anthropologist, who collaborated to the magazine with his article "Toda Forma de Fé" (All Forms of Faith), is going to explain the spiritual influence on Brazilians as a result of coexisting with the religious diversity of Arab immigrants who arrived at the country, especially in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. "Contrary to what most people believe, there is a lot of religious pluralism among Arab immigrants," says Pinto.

The researcher presents figures pertaining to immigration from 1908 to 1941, showing that 65% of the Syrian-Lebanese who arrived at the Port of Santos were Maronites, Melkites and Roman Catholics, 20% were Orthodox Christians and 15% Muslims. "The religious diversity is huge. There were also the Jewish immigrants who spoke Arabic or had an Arab cultural background, and the atheists," he says.

"The result of this contact with plurality is felt even today, with the growing number of non-Arab Brazilians converted to Islamism, the use of the Portuguese language in sermons, and the increasing supply of Arabic language courses," says Pinto, who did doctoral research on the Islam in contemporary Syria, studies the Muslim community in Brazil since 2003 and is working on a project for a book on Arab immigration in Rio de Janeiro. "The book is already being written and will be probably be published by the end of the year," he says.

The debate, which will be mediated by researcher Marcello Scarrone, is free of charge and open to the general public. The auditorium has a capacity for 150 people.

The History Magazine of the National Library provides qualified information in essays and articles written by the leading Brazilian historians. The only publication in its segment to specialize in the History of Brazil, the magazine is distributed on a monthly basis to newsstands across the country and may be subscribed to. The full contents of all editions may also be viewed at http://www.revistadehistoria.com.br.

Service

Debate: Arabs in Brazil
Date: Tuesday, July 27th
Place: Machado de Assis Auditorium of the National Library Foundation – Rio de Janeiro
Time: 4 pm

Anba

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