For many in the United States, Arab-Americans are an invisible segment of the population. Though Arab-Americans as a community have made significant contributions to American society in fields ranging from literature to politics to medicine, many Americans know very little about Americans of Arab descent.
Arab history in the United States goes back to the late 1800's when large numbers of Arab immigrants first began making their journey to a land known simply as "Amreeka."
Historians generally describe Arab immigration to America in two waves. The first wave took place between 1860 and 1924. The first wave consisted of Lebanese and Syrian, and some Egyptian immigrants. These new immigrants, who were predominantly Christian, came to America in pursuit of better opportunities. Even the doomed Titanic, which set sail for America in 1912, had close to a hundred Arab passengers aboard. The majority of Arab Americans today are descendents of the first wave of immigrants; they are third or more generation Americans.
The second wave of immigrants followed after WWII, sparked by political unrest in the Middle East. This second wave of immigrants consists of mainly Arab Muslims and continues to this day.
Arab-Americans make up 3 million of the population in the United States, according to demographers. And contrary to popular belief, 64 percent of them are American-born. Eighty-two percent of Arab-Americans are US citizens.
Arab-Americans surpass the national average in both education and income. Education is important among Arab-Americans; 82 percent have high school diplomas, 36 percent have bachelor's degrees or higher, and 15 percent have graduate degrees. The median average income among Arab-Americans is ,580, which is higher than the US average.