The Requests of Syrians in America to End the Enduring Indifference of the Ottoman Authorities
An Article Dated 1908
The migration of Syrians to America in the 19th and 20th centuries is a major issue which has been widely covered in both fictional and non-fictional literature. Over the same period, many Arab magazines were founded both in North and South America, or “migrated” to those countries. An example is al-Jāmiʿa, which moved from Alexandria of Egypt to New York in 1906, where its founder, the renowned intellectual Faraḥ Anṭūn, was able to undertake a profound study of Western society. Not only did this help him understand that society, but also to better comprehend the critical issues in his native milieu and the tensions between Turks and Arabs, which often came to the fore, in particular when the latter expected the former to help them through important phases of their social-civil-economic life even in the land they migrated to.
This paper analyses one article by Nāṣīf Shiblī Damūs, published in al-Jāmiʿa after previous publication in the eponymous newspaper, in which Syrian migrants in the United States, with Anṭūn supporting them, lament the indifference of the Ottoman authorities toward them and forward a number of specific requests, using the magazine as the means to have themselves heard by the entire Arab and Ottoman community throughout the world.
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