Canadians of Arab Origin – Who are they?

Arab Canadians are not a recent addition to the Canadian mosaic. It is widely believed the first Arab immigrant was a Lebanese man who arrived in Canada in 1882. Ibrahim Abou Nader came from the city of Zahleh, then in Mount Lebanon Mutasarrifate, an autonomous territory within the Ottoman Empire. He settled in Montreal.

Now, 130 years of immigration later, Arab Canadians and their history and reality in this country have not been very widely publicized or explored.

The aim of this collection of reports is to respond to the everyday questions asked about Canadians of Arab origin, and to close the gap between the impression and the reality of the several Arab communities that are now at home in Canada. We hope to correct some of the misunderstandings that continue to exist.

You will discover the many countries Arab Canadians now come from, the differing cultures and religions within these communities, how this Arab mosaic fits into the larger Canadian tapestry, as well as profiles of some of the best-known Arab Canadians today.

And you will hear some of the Arab-Canadian views on some of the most heated debates in Canadian society these days, from the proposed Charter of Secularism in the province of Quebec, to the place of the hijab and the niqab, to the evolution of the Arab Spring, and the current reality of Islamist extremism and terror.

We invite you to read, listen and comment!

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