This Thursday (25), the Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce celebrates the National Day of the Arab Community with a virtual event. The celebration begins at 7 p.m. on the digital Zoom platform. Experts will talk about the history of Arabs in Brazil. The Chamber is also expected to present the results of the census carried out last year, which suggested the presence of 12 million people of Arab origin in Brazil. Free of charge, registration can be done via this link.
As part of the day’s celebrations, the Chamber will also feature a series of testimonies recorded by descendants of Arabs and others connected with the community. There is a video of ex-president Michel Temer, son of migrants from the village of Btaaboura, for example. The author of this blog Orientalíssimo also recorded a testimony about his experience with Arabs in Brazil. Some of the videos will be available on the Chamber of Commerce’s social networks.
Coming mainly from what are today the states of Syria and Lebanon, the Arabs began to emigrate to Brazil around 1870. They left the Ottoman Empire due to a series of factors, one of which was the collapse of the silk economy and a plague that devastated the grape. plantations. According to historians’ estimates, around 150,000 of them arrived in Brazil. They founded newspapers, charities, clubs and hospitals. Several of his descendants – like Paulo Maluf, Fernando Haddad and Guilherme Boulos – found themselves in politics.
March 25 was formalized in 2008 as the date of this community in Brazil. The reason is obvious: it is precisely on Rua 25 de Março, in the center of São Paulo, that the Syrians and the Lebanese concentrated in the first decades of their migration. If the profile of the region has changed with the displacement of some families to other neighborhoods and the arrival of Asian migrants on March 25, it remains one of the icons of the Syrian-Lebanese presence in Brazil.