Book Tells Story of New Arab Immigrants to Brazil: the Muslims

PatrÀ­cios, a book on Arabs in Brazil Demand for the book by Oswaldo Truzzi, "PatrÀ­cios – SÀ­rios e Libaneses em São Paulo" (Fellow countrymen – Syrians and Lebanese in São Paulo), which had sold out six years ago, has led the Unesp publishing house to release a second edition. The new feature in this edition is that the author presents a research conducted among the new Arab immigrants who arrived in the city over the last few decades, the Muslims.

"The research was carried out two or three years ago in São Paulo and reveals a new batch of immigrants," said Truzzi, who holds a doctorate in Social Sciences and is a professor in Post Graduation Programs in Sociology and Production Engineering of the Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar).

The research, which is included in the book's postface, looks into the sociability and family values of this immigrant group, comprised mainly of Lebanese.

The first edition was issued in 1997 by publishing house Hucitec. According to Truzzi, the book enjoyed a large demand, not only among academia, but also among the descendents themselves. "The book ended up becoming a reference," said Truzzi, who tells the story of Arab immigration.

In the first chapter, the author lists the reasons that led the Arabs to leave their countries. These immigrants, who were mostly Lebanese and Syrian, started arriving in São Paulo between 1890 and 1960. Their initial activities were trade-related, leading the Arabs to become known as street merchants.

In the second chapter, "De mascates a empresários" (From traveling salesmen to businessmen), Truzzi narrates this story. "I describe what São Paulo was like then, and how the Arabs inserted themselves in trade, the stores and the industry," he said.

Truzzi also discusses the dilemmas pertaining to the construction of identities, and reviews social mobility strategies. According to the author, the sons of that first generation of Arab immigrants had a good education and, in large numbers, became self-employed workers, especially in the fields of Medicine and Law. "Later on, they became involved in politics," he said.

The book also brings a chapter comparing Syrian and Lebanese immigration in Brazil and in the United States. "They have fared better here than there," said Truzzi, who explains the level of economic development of Brazil and the United States at the time of immigration.

"Patrí­cios – Sí­rios e libaneses em São Paulo" can be purchased on the website of the Unesp publishing house (www.editoraunesp.com.br) or by telephone (+55 11 3242-7171).

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Title: Patrí­cios – Sí­rios e libaneses em São Paulo
Author: Oswaldo Mário Serra Truzzi
Pages: 354
Format: 14 x 21 cm
Price: 50 Brazilian reais (US$ 27)

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