Julio Cesar Turbay, one of Colombia's former presidents, hails from the country's 200,000-strong Arab community, which has also produced several congressmen and one of the country's hottest cultural exports -- pop star Shakira.

Is Arab influence increasing in Colombia? Is it a good thing, bad thing, or what? What do you think?

Posted on May 22, 2005

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I think the more important influence is to be named after Roman emperors. It would appear to increase the chances of becoming President of Colombia -

Julio César Turbay Ayala

César Augusto Gaviria Trujillo

Posted on May 22, 2005

is Nero next? that would be scary

Posted on May 22, 2005

Tinto and Lionheart, It pains me to have to do this, to have to scold you both, but please try to stay on topic. Rome is way off topic, although they say all roads lead there. The question is whether Arab influence is increasing in Colombia?


Plátano, el banano verde

Oxigeno Verde ¡Libertad por Ingrid y los demás!

Posted on May 22, 2005

I think you asked wrong question The Arabic presence in Colombia has a long history ... does it have any influence at all aside from a few people, not a large enough number to say it is of any influence at all.

Posted on May 22, 2005

Anything to make a peso The shopping bazaar in Tulua displayed many thawbs and alluring jallabias for a sheik appearance. The men had a large selection of kafiyyehs. They were not as prevalent and mainly found in the southern section.

Yarmulkes could be custom fabricated from almost any material. Surprising was the number of girdles and the rear fastening bras for the retro look.

Posted on May 22, 2005

Submitted by Tinto on Mon, 0 Submitted by Tinto on Mon, 05/23/2005 - 02:59.

to be named after Roman emperors. It would appear to increase the chances of becoming President of Colombia -

Julio César Turbay Ayala

César Augusto Gaviria Trujillo

How about Nero Gonzales?????

Posted on May 22, 2005

Arab Foods, Arab Roots Sink Deeply Into South American Culture Every day, crowds line up at Habib's for its famous kibbehs, sfihas and other Middle Eastern snacks. At home, Brazilians tune in for Arnaldo Jabor's ironic op-ed pieces on the TV nightly news, and read about the latest corruption charges against Paulo Maluf, a former mayor of Sao Paulo.

Along with the Arab foods, these two leading Brazilians of Lebanese descent blend into an Arab culture that runs deep in this South American country. Yet because this influence has become so ingrained, many don't realize how pervasive it is. It just seems, well, Brazilian.

"Assimilation and integration have been so strong that sometimes it is difficult, if not impossible, to know who in this country is of Arab descent and who is not," Sao Paulo State Gov. Geraldo Alckmin said at a recent meeting of Brazilian and Arab businessmen.

A South American-Arab summit earlier this month brought Brazil's Arab heritage into focus.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said the continent was reuniting with "a civilization that has become an indissoluble part of our identity." Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa responded that there were "deep roots" for more trade and cooperation.

"We in the Arab League are proud of the ties that link us to you," Moussa told the gathering of leaders from 12 South American and 22 Arab and North African nations.

The large Arab communities in Brazil and across South America, he said, had "active mechanisms like chambers of commerce, schools, clubs and other institutions that will be of tremendous help" in doubling bilateral trade that reached US$8.1 billion ((euro)6.42 billion) in 2004.

Brazil sells mainly beef, chicken, iron ore and sugar to the Arab world and buys mostly oil.

The country's Arab community stands at about 10 million, making it the largest outside the Arab world, according to Antonio Sarkis, president of the Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce. About 7 million Arab descendants live elsewhere in South America.

The original settlers were mostly Christians from Lebanon and Syria who began arriving in the late 19th century, fleeing the Turkish-Ottoman empire that ruled much of the Middle East.

"Many of these immigrants came to Brazil without really wanting to," said Helmi Nasr, head of the Arabic Studies Center at the University of Sao Paulo. "They had purchased steamship tickets to America, thinking they were heading for North America. After quickly recovering from the initial shock of discovering they had arrived in South America, they started to make the best of it."

Accomplished merchants, many settled in Sao Paulo -- Brazil's biggest city -- and earned a living as traveling salesman, roaming the vast country, selling textiles and clothes and opening new markets.

As they prospered, relatives emigrated to Brazil, too, and "with their help they eventually opened their own textile and clothing shops and factories," Nasr said.

Today, many of their descendants are prominent in the arts, politics, business, communications and medicine.

Perhaps the best known Brazilian politician of Arab descent is Paulo Maluf, a perpetual presidential hopeful who twice served as mayor of Sao Paulo and once as governor of Sao Paulo state. Maluf, the son of a Lebanese immigrant, faces charges of embezzlement and is accused of overbilling highway and tunnel construction projects while serving as mayor between 1993 and 1996.

Under Brazil's former military regime, Ibrahim Abi-Ackel, the son of Lebanese immigrants, served as justice minister for President Joao Figueiredo. A leading adversary was liberal Sen. Pedro Simon, who is also of Lebanese descent.

The Globo TV network capitalized on the strong Arab influence in the popular soap opera The Clone, a love story that highlights differences between Islam and the Western world. Globo sold it to nearly every South American country, Portugal and even to the United States.

Rival network Bandeirantes, Brazil's fourth-largest, is owned by the Saad family, which traces its origin to Syria.

Sao Paulo is Brazil's business capital, and one of its leading businessman is Paulo Antonio Skaf, the president of the powerful Sao Paulo State Federation of Industries and the son of Lebanese immigrants.

Among Brazil's brightest literary prospects is Milton Hatoum, the Lebanese-descended author of the acclaimed novel "The Tree of Seventh Heaven." Also a descendent of Lebanese immigrants, film director and commentator Arnaldo Jabor offers his strong opinions on just about everything daily on the Globo radio and TV network.

Rio de Janeiro also boasts its Arab heritage. For years, the hottest carnival balls were at the popular Monte Libano and Sirio-Libanes social clubs.

Arab cuisine is so popular that Brazilians have adopted it as their own. Along with sfihas (meat and cheese pastries) and kibbehs (ground meat patties), dishes such as hummus, tahina and tabbouleh are available all over Sao Paulo and other major cities.

Recently, Lebanese Muslims have settled in the southwestern city of Foz de Iguacu, in the so-called "Triple Border" region where Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil converge.

After the Sept. 11, attacks, the U.S. State Department called this region and its Muslim population of about 25,000 a "focal point for Islamic extremism in Latin America." The region and its porous borders is considered a haven for arms traffickers, smugglers and counterfeiters.

Other Arab immigrants, mostly Lebanese and Syrian, sank roots elsewhere in South America.

Argentina's 3.5 million citizens of Arab descent include former President Carlos Saul Menem, whose ancestors came from Syria.

In neighboring Chile, an estimated 350,000 Palestinian immigrants and their descendants comprise what is believed to be the largest Palestinian community outside the Middle East. Chile even has a first-division soccer team named Palestino.

Venezuela has an Arab population of about 1 million, mostly of Syrian and Lebanese descent and in recent years a growing number of Palestinians. Ecuador's Lebanese community has produced two former presidents: Abdala Bucram and Jamil Mahuad.

Colombia has and Shakira.

Plátano, el banano verde

Oxigeno Verde ¡Libertad por Ingrid y los demás!

Posted on May 22, 2005

Menem, Maluf, Mahuad....arabs seem do make escelent corrupt politicians wherever they are.

Posted on May 22, 2005

Lebanese Immigration to South America Lebanese christians immigrated to the US and South America after shiites started becoming more assertive politically. When France conquered Syria it split it in two calling the smaller part "Lebenon" and gerrymandered it into a Christian (Maronite) dominated country. However, the Shiites were poor farmers and had huge families so that over time they began to outnumber the Christains. They became politically organized and challenged the christian rulers in what was then a democratic country. CIA and US military came in to back up the Christians and implemented a Maronite police state because they mistakenly thought that democracies were not strong enough to prevent the commies from taken over. For similar reasons the US helped bring Baath to power in IRaq, and overthrew a democracy in Iran too. Cold War policies may be responsible for much of the far-right wing governments in the MidEast today. Back to the point, I believe the Shakiras, Danny Thomas, and salma Heyeks are part of this wave of immigrants from Lebenon.

Posted on May 22, 2005

After what happen here in the United States I am not to happy with Arabs or Muslims. It is not that they are all bad but it is just the type of fundamentalist thinking they are breeding.

Posted on May 22, 2005

my family my grandparents (on my father's side) came from Palestine in the 1920's, most of my uncles and aunts were born there, my dad was born here (1940) in a small town in Magdalena, and they settled in Aracataca, then moved to Barranquilla around 1960, along with them came lots of arabs, I guess they came for the reasons above described by vladimiro, most of the people who came were lebanese, my grandparents were an exception, along with the jassir and the maria family, to name some, the arabs (along with jews, italian and chinese) were very influential in the development of bquilla and many other cities in the northern coast. a second wave of muslim arabs came to maicao in the 1980's therefore in maicao you'll find the only mosque that we have in colombia... I don't know the story very well, but to me it is narrow-minded to say that you do not like this or that group of people because of a few bad seeds... I also disagree with the person who said that arabs seem to breed excelent corrupt politicians, because it is generalizing, or what would you say about all the corrupt politicians here in colombia?? 100% criollos (though we have some "foreign" aid, like jose name, well-known and respected member of the arab community in barranquilla, and ratero a mas no poder)

Posted on May 22, 2005

BBC I was watching a documentary on BBC world a few months ago about West Africa.

Thre is a large amount of mostly Lebanese and some Syrian extraction people living on the coast of these Countries, most of them arrived in the 30s.

When the presenter of the programme asked wny, the guy explained at the time there was several classes of tickets that people leaving Lebanon could buy for South America, if they bought the cheapeast class of ticket the ship would take them out to sea, after a few weeks, they would drop them off in South America, but really they were dropping them off in places like Sierra Leone.

Just thought I would share the info.


Posted on May 22, 2005

carolain11 I am sure I saw a mosque in San Andres. I am surprised there isn't one in Cartagena.

Posted on May 22, 2005

Peter Miami, a lot of Muslims don't like the redical Muslims either, they are a minority. I don't really care for the fundamentalist Christian views in some of the US, but I know that they too are a minority amongst Christians.

Posted on May 22, 2005

Islamic Center of Colombia

Avenida Las Americas

Islas San Andres


Posted on May 22, 2005

comprehensive Islamic directory for Colombia Address: Asociación Centro Cultural Islámico de Medellín

Calle 65 No. 73 - 318,

Medellin, Antioquia 04, COLOMBIA

Phone: 574-260 0440

Email: abdulhaq43@hotmail.com


Address: Centro Cultural Islamico

Diagonal 22B No 43a - 13,

Bogota D.E., Cundinamarca , COLOMBIA

Phone: 57-1-3 350 364

Fax: (57-1) 2-449-824

Email: centroculturalislamico@hotmail.com

General Information: El Centro Cultural Islamico ofrece oraciones diarias, incluyendo Jummah (Oración de los Viernes). También ofrece servicio de biblioteca islámica, conferencias, seminarios para colegios y universidades, exposiciones de arte, clases de árabe y caligrafía. The Islamic Cultural Center offers daily prayers, including Jummah (Friday prayer). In addition it offers an islamic library, conferences for schools, colleges and universities, seminars, art expositions, as well as arabic and calligraphy.

Activities 1: 9 am-5 pm: monday- Friday,Islamic Cultural Center,Open to the public

Activities 2: 9 am-5 pm: Lunes a viernes,Centro Cultural Islamico,Abierto al publico

Activities 3: 5 pm-6 pm: Martes/ tuesday,Classes,Islamic Classes- Halaqah

Activities 4: 6 pm-8 pm: Jueves/thrusday,Oracion y Grupo de discución,Prayer and Lectures

General Activities: Durante Ramadam se ofrencen Iftars (romper el ayuno), Celebraciones de Eid Al-Fitr, despues de Ramadaan, Eid Al-Adha ,despues del Peregrinage. During Ramadaan we offer daily Iftars. We also celebrate Eid Al-Fitr,after Ramadaam, and Eid Al-Adha ,after Hajj.


Address: Centro Islamico de Bogota - Mesquita

Masjid = Carrera 9 No. 13 - 12 of. 603/609,

Bogota, Cundinamarca 57 1, COLOMBIA

Phone: 57 1-2826448

Email: yusuf_garcia@hotmail.com, aminah_lourido@hotmail.com,

General Information: Oraciones de Yumma (Jumua'ah Prayer)



calle 11 No. 6-60 Apt.201,

Cucuta, Norte de Santander , COLOMBIA

Phone: 577-5717943

Fax: 5833935

Email: cucutacenter@hotmail.com

Directions: calle 11 No. 6-60 Apt 201

Activities 1: 12 am-1:30: friday,prayer,


Address: Centro Islamico de Maicao

Kra. 9 Entre Calles 11 y 12,

Maicao, Guajira , COLOMBIA

Phone: 575 726 1083

Fax: 575 726 6983

Email: colomboarabe87@hotmail.com

General Information: Islamic center with a school / library and mosque.

Activities 1: weekly-: ,Meeting of the center board ma,

Activities 2: 12.00-1.15: Friday,Jumua'ah prayer,

Activities 3: 6.30-7.30: Wen/Sun,,


Address: Centro Islamico de Pasto

Carrera 24 No. 16-66 piso 4,

Pasto, Nariño , COLOMBIA

Email: nefiahmuslim@hotmail.com

General Information: es una mezquita localizada en el cuarto piso del edificio, sencilla y muy acogedora.


Address: Centro islamico de Popayan

kra 23 # 7-41,

Popayan, Colombia 09999, COLOMBIA

Phone: 092-8389670

Fax: 092-8225304

Email: centroislampopayan@yahoo.com

Directions: Asociacion benefica islamica, bogota kra 9a # 11-65

Activities 1: 6 am-8 am: miercoles,escuela,estudio aquida

Activities 2: 4 pm-6 pm: sabado,escuela,estudio shariah

Activities 3: 12 m-1 pm: viernes,jumua,

Activities 4: 6 am-8 am: viernes,escuela,estudio fiq

Activities 5: 6 am-8 am: lunes,escuela,estudio de la Shariah


Address: Comunidad Islamica Latinoamericana - Ceislam

Calle 40B sur No. 78M - 09 Kennedy,

Bogota D.E., Cundinamarca , COLOMBIA

Phone: 57 1 -2614601

Email: ceislam@hotmail.com

URL: http://groups.msn.com/ComunidadIslamicaLatinoamericana

General Information: Oraciones de Yumma (Jumua'ah Prayer) en la Carrera 9 No. 13 - 12 of. 609 Tel. 2826448


Address: Islamic association of Bogota

Carrera 9A No. 11- 65,

Bogota D.E., piso 4, COLOMBIA

Phone: 577 2276

Email: gvivasu@col1.telecom.com.co

General Information: Islamic association


Address: Islamic Center

Isla de San Andrés,

Bailey, , COLOMBIA

Phone: 57-811 22070

Fax: (57) 811- 23534

General Information: Islamic center


Address: Islamic center of San Andres Island

Bailey boat-1B-127,

San Andres Y Providencia, San andres y providencia , COLOMBIA

Phone: 57-8-5128959 - 51237

Fax: 57-8-5123776

Directions: punta hansa near the catholic church

General Information: religious and cultural activities

Activities 1: 1-1:15: Daily,dohr prayer,

Activities 2: 1-1:45: Friday,jumuaâh prayer,

Activities 3: 9-9:15: Daily,isha^prayer,

General Activities: conferences about islam, memorizing curan, shari^a and other activities


Address: Mezquita Bilal-Aljabachi

La Boquilla, Sector Marlinda Calle 2da. No. 10-09,

Cartagena, Bolivar , COLOMBIA

Email: islam_cartagena@yahoo.com

URL: http://www.geocities.com/islam_cartagena/


Address: ا?ج?ع?ة ا?خ?ر?ة ا?أس?ا??ة ف? ب?د?بار

Calle 16B Nro 7-66,

Valledupar, Cesar , COLOMBIA

Phone: 57-55744958

Fax: 57 55 8013 52

Email: lubnani5@arabi.com

Directions: The plaza ALFONSO LOPEZ here in valledupar is an important symbol of the city,so you can go two blocks south the plaza and then turn right one block then turn one left block,then turn one right and u find us there.

General Information: Here in valledupar we need more imformation about islam and all the activities muslims in the world do.


Address: ا?ج?ع?ة ا?خ?ر?ة ا?إس?ا??ةAsociación Benefica Islamica

Calle 12 No 05-67,

Maicao, Guajira , COLOMBIA

Phone: 575-7261083-7261050

Email: eljeaid@hotmail.com

General Information: أسست ا?ج?ع?ة ا?خ?ر?ة ا?إس?ا??ة ف? عا? 1982 عدد أفراد ا??س???? ?تجا?ز 5000 فرد أغ?ب?ت?? ?ب?ا???? ?ع أب?ائ?? ?? ??ا??د ?????ب?ا ?أ?ا?? أخر? ?? أ?ر??ا ا??ات???ة ??ب?ا?. ??جد ?سجد جا?ع حد?ث ا?ب?اء ??د دش? ف? 17 سبت?بر 1997 ??تسع ?إ?ثر ?? 1000 ?ص??. ع?د ا??ؤسسة3 ?اعات ?ؤت?رات ? ??تبت?? عرب?ة ?إسبا??ة ??د أ?شأت ?درسة عا? 1987 ?درس ف??ا أب?اء ا?جا??ة ??ترا?ح عدد?? ب?? 600 ?700 ت???ذ ف? ج??ع ا??ست??ات ?? حضا?ة ?إبتدائ? ??ت?سط ?ت?????


Address: ا??درسة ا?عرب?ة ا??????ب?ة- دار ا?أر??

Calle 12 con Kra 7,

Maicao, , COLOMBIA

Phone: 5757267050

Fax: 5757268963

Email: colomboarabe87@hotmail.com

General Information: A School for the Islamic Comunity in Maicao


Please don't ask for a comprehensive Catholic directory. ;-)

Posted on May 22, 2005

I might be wrong on this one I have been talking to friends and a DJ of mine in Trinidad about the races and the foods there. I also recall a show about Caribbean foods in general. All mentioned large Arabian communities that started back in the days when most black slaves were brought in from Africa. Their origins were more from North Africa than the Middle-East. I am not sure if they were actual slavers or on the ships as guards, but many decided not to do the return trip or were left behind as surplus passengers for the passage back.

I can imagine that these Arabs also eventually spread out to the other islands and the Atlantic coasts of South America. I couldn't find much info other than their influence to the Caribbean kitchen.

Posted on May 22, 2005

Lots of good Arabic food in Colombia.

The story about Lebanese being dumped in Africa is ancient bullshit.

' a la orden!'

Posted on May 22, 2005

Arabic food? I am curious about that, because there are distict differences between the foods: Mediteranean, North African, Middle Eastern, Arabic, Persian and more. Do you have any recipe names?

Posted on May 22, 2005

Isn't kumis, which is very popular in Colombia, of Mongolian origin? How did it become so popular in Colombia?

Posted on May 22, 2005

Drink Kumis for your health!

Kumis is a traditional milk beverage of cattle-breeder-nomads, received by lactic acid fermentation. True kumis differs by the strength and is made from mare milk. In old times kumis was made and kept in a horsehide vessel. For that, the skin from the old horse was taken and sewed up, the cellular tissue inside. The hair was singed and the vessel was smoked and greased with oat. The capacity of such vessels was different from 16 liters to 150 liters. Kumis, made in a horsehide vessel, was remarkable by its high gustatory senses and foamy consistence because of the gas abundance.

The quality of kumis depends on the ferment. Until the end of XIX century, kumis was made from the ferment, prepared at the end of kumis season. During the summer cheese sediment was accumulated on the bottom of the milk-skin, it was then dried and kept until the spring. This ferment was combined with mare milk and buttermilk and a dried horse tendon was put in the vessel.

Since XX century, wheat and barley grains, old kumis were used for the ferment and instead of horsehide vessels people made hollowed out linden vessels. Frequent shaking is the indispensable condition of kumis preparing. Kumis treating was a must before and after the meal. Kumis tradition is kept our days as well and made in different ways.

Kumis drinking is very healthy and used for medical purposes. The healing power of kumis is proved by clinical testing. Kumis is rich in ferments, trace elements, antibiotics, vitamins A, B1, B2, B13, D, E, C, ethyl alcohol, lactic acid and carbonic acid. Kumis drinking has a healing influence on the work of gastrointestinal tract, metabolism, cardiovascular and nervous systems, sanguification organs and kidney work and develops immunity. Kumis is good in the case of emaciation and anemia.

Posted on May 22, 2005

Good for you, that explains why it isn't popular in the USA. ;-)

Posted on May 22, 2005

Kumis and falafel. Kumis. Cheese milkshake. An abomination on the earth, as far as I'm concerned. Now, a nice glass of avena, on the other hand...

You'd think with all this Arab influence, I could get a decent falafel in Bogota.

Posted on May 22, 2005

and what about ... Yak butter along with Kumis?

I heard if you rub Yak butter on your skin it keeps all bugs away, as well ... probably the Colombianas too.

Posted on May 22, 2005

goosekirk most arabs settled in the north coast of colombia, after such a long trip it was easier than coger camino pa la montaña, just stay by the river or the sea...

you can find good arab food in bquilla, cartagena, monteria... but not in bogota, it sucks here...

Posted on May 22, 2005

I believe I saw an Arabic restaurant just north of the Hotel Dann Norte, I think it was just south of Ave Pepe Sierra near the Carulla.

Posted on May 22, 2005

Maronite Patriarchs&other Christianshave a long historyinLiban Maronites were starving because there was famine in the land, so the Lebanese started leaving in waves starting in 1860 or so. There was also emigration during and after the First and SEcond World Wars.The Maronite Patriarchs have a history dating all the way back to the seventh century and possibly even before. All the way back to Antioch... The French didn't come into that area (Mount Lebanon) until much later. Are you saying that there was only Syria before Lebanon and that Lebanon became a country by default because of French dominance?

"Gerrymandering: of redistricting in which electoral district or constituency boundaries are manipulated for an electoral advantage. "

Posted on May 22, 2005

damn all this Arab influence in Colombia I was naive to up until now...I really must try and check my family tree when I go back to El Pueblo....I have a hypothesis that states somewhere down the line there must have been an energetic Arab that made tracks inland.....I keep getting mistaken for an Arab/Persian and I've become convinced somewhere down the line there's some Arab blood in me tree.

Posted on May 22, 2005

Syria It was the Amrmenians fleeing from the turks in syria and came to south america The otamen empire muslims on the message board sam salmon lol suposodly calls him self has christians and jewish ppl in there empire your talking about the amernians that were being exodused mesacred lets not forget about that ppl ppl from the middle east coming over and taking over what is no turkey but was armenia and doing several masacres including the 1915 Amrmenian masacre where the turks killed over 4 million Amrmenians that was the ones they could acount for and Armenia says it was 5 million due to the cover up we wil never know

Posted on May 22, 2005

Brazil defentely doesnt have a realtionship with the middle east the ppl dont even have any middle east in them there off portugese and native indians and yes ppl may flock to his donah palce lol but look at london and look at germany lol ppl flocked there at the begining when the first donah shop opened but u wouldent say they have an infeeliation with the arabs lol.

Posted on May 22, 2005

what !!!this people here knows about everything that happens when you eat the whole newspaper every single day!!!!!

you know about everything

a lot of genius people here wow

arabes in colombia wow

Posted on May 22, 2005