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‘Arisen from Deep Slumber’: Transnational Politics and Competing Nationalisms among Syrian Immigrants in Argentina, 1900–1922


This article examines how Syrian immigrants in Argentina responded to the intersection of transnational politics and nascent nationalisms between 1900 and 1922. In particular, it studies the role of Syrian intellectuals in Argentina in advocating a variety of political allegiances that changed over time as their homelands suffered a series of intense political transformations during the first two decades of the twentieth century. The emergence of Syrian and Lebanese ethnic identities as well as an Arab racialised identity was the product of distinct political programmes circulating in the Levant and among the Syrian émigré communities in the Americas, threatening to undermine the immigrant colony's sense of community.

Este artículo examina cómo inmigrantes sirios en Argentina respondieron al encuentro entre políticas transnacionales y los nacientes nacionalismos entre 1900 y 1922. En particular, el ensayo estudia el papel de intelectuales sirios en Argentina en la defensa de una variedad de lealtades políticas que cambiaron en el tiempo en la medida en que sus lugares de origen sufrieron intensas transformaciones políticas durante las dos primeras décadas del siglo XX. La emergencia de las identidades étnicas sirias y libanesas, así como una identidad árabe racializada, fue el producto de distintos programas políticos circulando en el Levante y entre las comunidades sirias emigradas en América Latina, amenazando con minar la sensación de comunidad de la colonia inmigrante.

Examina-se como imigrantes sírios na Argentina responderam à intersecção de políticas transnacionais e nacionalismos emergentes entre 1900 e 1922. Especificamente, estuda-se o papel de intelectuais sírios na Argentina, defendendo uma variedade de alianças políticas que foram alteradas ao longo do tempo em que sua pátria natal sofreu uma série de transformações políticas intensas durante as primeiras duas décadas do século XX. O aparecimento de identidades étnicas sírias e libanesas assim como uma identidade árabe racializada foi o resultado de programas políticos distintos que circulavam no Levante e entre as comunidades imigrantes sírias nas Américas que ameaçavam minar o senso de comunidade da colônia de imigrantes.

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1 See Baily, Samuel L., Labor, Nationalism and Politics in Argentina (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1967); Baily, Samuel L. and Ramella, Franco (eds.), One Family, Two Worlds: An Italian Family's Correspondence across the Atlantic, 1901–1922 (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1988); Baily, Samuel L., Immigrants in the Land of Promise: Italians in Buenos Aires and New York City, 1870–1914 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1999); Moya, José C., Cousins and Strangers: Spanish Immigrants in Buenos Aires, 1850–1930 (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1998); Newton, Ronald, German Buenos Aires 1900–1933: Social Change and Cultural Crisis (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1977); Lesser, Jeffrey, Negotiating National Identity: Immigrants, Minorities, and the Struggle for Ethnicity in Brazil (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1999); Devoto, Fernando, Historia de la inmigración en la Argentina (Buenos Aires: Sudamericana, 2003); and Baily, Samuel L. and Míguez, Eduardo José (eds.), Mass Migration to Modern Latin America (Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, 2003).

2 Eduardo José Míguez, ‘Introduction: Foreign Mass Migration to Latin America in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries – an Overview’, in Baily and Míguez (eds.), Mass Migration, p. xvi; Moya, Cousins and Strangers, pp. 26–9, 61–120, 205–76.

3 Baily, Immigrants in the Lands of Promise, pp. 69–90, 172–216; Moya, Cousins and Strangers, pp. 277–331.

4 See Ignacio Klich, ‘Criollos and Arabic Speakers in Argentina: An Uneasy Pas de Deux, 1880–1914’, in Albert Hourani and Nadim Shehadi (eds.), The Lebanese in the World: A Century of Emigration (London: I. B. Tauris, 1992), pp. 243–84; Civantos, Christina, Between Argentines and Arabs: Argentine Orientalism, Arab Immigrants, and the Writing of Identity (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2005); Roberts, Lois, The Lebanese Immigrants in Ecuador: A History of Emerging Leadership (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2000); Tasso, Alberto, Aventura, trabajo y poder: sirios y libaneses en Santiago del Estero, 1880–1980 (Buenos Aires: Indice, 1989); Alfaro-Velcamp, Theresa, So Far from Allah, So Close to Mexico: Middle Eastern Immigrants in Modern Mexico (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 2007); González, Nancie L., Dollar, Dove and Eagle: One Hundred Years of Palestinian Migration to Honduras (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1992).

5 See Gualtieri, Sarah, Between Arab and White: Race and Ethnicity in the Early Syrian American Diaspora (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2009); and Khater, Akram, Inventing Home: Emigration, Gender, and the Middle Class in Lebanon, 1870–1920 (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2001).

6 Linda Basch, Nina Glick Schiller and Cristina Szanton Blanc, ‘Transnational Projects: A New Perspective’, in Basch, Glick Schiller and Szanton Blanc (eds.), Nations Unbound: Transnational Projects, Postcolonial Predicaments, and Deterritorialized Nation-States (Langhorne, PA: Gordon and Breach, 1994), p. 4. See also Lie, John, ‘From International Migration to Transnational Diaspora’, Contemporary Sociology, 24: 4 (1995), pp. 303–6; and Schiller, Nina Glick, Basch, Linda and Blanc, Cristina Szanton, ‘From Immigrant to Transmigrant: Theorizing Transnational Migration’, Anthropology Quarterly, 68: 1 (1995), pp. 4864.

7 Portes, Alejandro, Guarnizo, Luis E. and Landolt, Patricia, ‘The Study of Transnationalism: Pitfalls and Promise of an Emergent Research Field’, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 22: 2 (1999), p. 227.

8 Solberg, Carl E., The Praries and the Pampas: Agrarian Policy in Canada and Argentina, 1880–1930 (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1987), pp. 95–6. See also Moya, José C., ‘A Continent of Immigrants: Postcolonial Shifts in the Western Hemisphere’, Hispanic American Historical Review, 86: 1 (2006), pp. 123.

9 Samuel Baily has laid out these issues for consideration by immigration scholars. He has also called for research on the issues of race and discrimination, including the reasons for nativism, how immigrants interact with internal migrants and minority communities, and immigrant participation in host society politics: Samuel Baily, ‘Conclusion: Common Themes and Future Directions’, in Baily and Míguez (eds.), Mass Migration, pp. 284–7.

10 Lesser, Jeffrey and Rein, Raanan, ‘Challenging Particularity: Jews as a Lens on Latin American Ethnicity’, Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies, 1: 2 (2006), p. 258.

11 Findley, Carter V., Turkey, Islam, Nationalism, and Modernity: A History, 1789–2007 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2010), pp. 76132; Makdisi, Ussama, The Culture of Sectarianism: Community, History, and Violence in Nineteenth-Century Ottoman Lebanon (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2000), pp. 2895.

12 Findley, Turkey, Islam, Nationalism, and Modernity, pp. 133–246.

13 Owen, Roger, The Middle East in the World Economy, 1800–1914 (London: I. B. Tauris, 1981), pp. 244–9, 261–2.

14 Khater, Inventing Home, pp. 48–52, 60.

15 Owen, The Middle East, pp. 249–53; Hashimoto, Kohei, ‘Silk, Information and Migrants: The Causes of the Lebanese Migration Reconsidered’, Annals of Japan Association for Middle East Studies, 8 (1993), p. 12.

16 A shaykh (pl. shuyūkh) was a local leader who had earned social prestige and power through economic success: see Makdisi, The Culture of Sectarianism, pp. 34–45.

17 Khater, Inventing Home, pp. 52–55. See also Moya, Cousins and Strangers, pp. 18–25.

18 Khater, Inventing Home, pp. 60–1.

19 See Ruppin, Arthur, Syria: An Economic Survey (New York: The Provisional Zionist Committee, 1918), p. 6; Issawi, Charles, The Fertile Crescent, 1800–1914 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988), p. 20; Karpat, Kemal H., ‘The Ottoman Emigration to America, 1860–1914’, International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, 17: 2 (1985), p. 185.

20 See Jozami, Gladys, ‘Identidad religiosa e integración cultural en cristianos sirios y libaneses en Argentina, 1890–1990’, Estudios Migratorios Latinoamericanos, 9: 26 (1994), pp. 95113; Delval, Raymond, Les musulmans en Amérique latine et aux Caraïbes (Paris: L'Harmattan, 1992), pp. 262–9.

21 Conde, Roberto Cortés, The Political Economy of Argentina in the Twentieth Century (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009), pp. 1477, 319; Alejandro, Carlos Díaz, Essays on the Economic History of the Argentine Republic (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1970), pp. 166; Albert, Bill, South America and the First World War: The Impact of the War on Brazil, Argentina, Peru, and Chile (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), pp. 1117; Anuario de estadística de la Provincia de Tucumán correspondiente al año de 1915 (Buenos Aires: Compañía Sud-Americana de Billetes de Banco, 1916), pp. cxvi–cxvii.

22 Schamún, Alejandro, La Siria nueva: obra histórica, estadística y comercial de la colectividad sirio-otomana en las Repúblicas Argentina y Uruguay (Buenos Aires: Empresa Assalam, 1917), p. 30.

23 See Blackwelder, Julia Kirk and Johnson, Lyman L., ‘Changing Criminal Patterns in Buenos Aires, 1890–1914’, Journal of Latin American Studies, 14: 2 (1982), pp. 359–79; Lyman L. Johnson, ‘Changing Arrest Patterns in Three Argentine Cities: Buenos Aires, Santa Fe, and Tucumán, 1900–1930’, in Johnson (ed.), The Problem of Order in Changing Societies: Essays on Crime and Policing in Argentina and Uruguay (Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press, 1990), pp. 117–47.

24 A classic account is Solberg, Carl, Immigration and Nationalism: Argentina and Chile, 1890–1914 (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1970). See also Civantos, Between Arab and Argentine, pp. 8–16.

25 Bertoni, Liliana Ana, ‘De Turquía a Buenos Aires: una colectividad nueva a fines del siglo XIX’, Estudios Migratorios Latinoamericanos, 9: 26 (1994), p. 68; Rock, David, State Building and Political Movements in Argentina, 1860–1916 (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2002), pp. 116–43.

26 Bertoni, ‘De Turquía a Buenos Aires’, p. 69.

27 Solberg, Immigration and Nationalism, p. 89.

28 ‘Los turcos en Buenos Aires’, Caras y Caretas, 1 March 1902. Caras y Caretas was aimed at a readership among the burgeoning middle class of Buenos Aires.

29 Cited in Scobie, James R., Secondary Cities of Argentina: The Social History of Corrientes, Salta, and Mendoza, 1850–1910 (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1988), p. 150.

30 Alsina, Juan, Memoria de la Dirección de Inmigración correspondiente al año 1899 (Buenos Aires: Imprenta de Guillermo Kraft, 1900), pp. 7980. See also María Elena Vela Rios and Roberto Caimi, ‘The Arabs in Tucumán, Argentina’, in Luz M. Martínez Montiel (ed.), Asiatic Migrations in Latin America (Mexico City: Colegio de México, 1981), pp. 129–30.

31 See the series of articles entitled ‘Quiebras fraudulentas’, in El Orden, 13, 15, 16 and 18 March 1911; for Schamún's article, see ‘La colectividad siria en la República Argentina’, El Orden, 21 March 1911. See also ‘Amado Caram y hermanos: su quiebra’, Archivo del Poder Judicial de la Provincia de Tucumán, Juzgado del Crimen, Sentencias, 1912–15, pp. 155–74.

32 Torino, Damián M., El problema del inmigrante y el problema agrario en la Argentina (Buenos Aires: Imprenta de La Baskonia, 1912), pp. 31–2; Nacional, Congreso, Diario de sesiones de la Cámara de Senadores, año 1911, vol. 1 (Buenos Aires: El Comercio, 1912), pp. 530–4.

33 Los árabes en la República’, La Prensa, 17 Nov. 1906; La colectividad siria en la Republica’, La Prensa, 10 May 1907; Governor José Inocencio Arias (Buenos Aires Province) to Alejandro Schamún, 29 July 1912. A facsimile of the Arias letter recognising the efforts to steer Syrian immigrants into the agricultural sector can be found in Abdeluahed Akmir, ‘La inmigración árabe en Argentina (1880–1980)’, unpubl. PhD diss., Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 1991, p. 837.

34 Moya, Cousins and Strangers, pp. 48–53.

35 Arribo del Cónsul Otomano’, La Nación, 30 Oct. 1910; Colonia agricola turca’, La Nación, 15 Feb. 1913.

36 Schamún, Alejandro, La colectividad siria en la Republica Argentina (Buenos Aires: Establecimiento Tipográfico Santa Fe 500, 1910), p. 12; Schamún, La Siria nueva, p. 29.

37 For instance, María Miguel de Torbai won a judgment from the Buenos Aires high court in 1890 confirming her right to practice commerce in Buenos Aires: ‘Miguel de Torbai sobre venia supletoria’, Archivo General de la Nación, Tribunal Civil, legajo M, no. 70, 1890.

38 Bertoni, ‘De Turquía a Buenos Aires’, pp. 80–1.

39 Schamún, La colectividad siria, p. 12.

40 Khater, Inventing Home, pp. 74–5.

41 Alfaro-Velcamp, So Far from Allah, pp. 29–30; Lesser, Negotiating National Identity, pp. 50–1; González, Dollar, Dove, and Eagle, pp. 70–1, 81–2.

42 Censo general de población, edificación, comercio é industrias de la ciudad de Buenos Aires, vol. 1 (Buenos Aires: Compañía Sud-Americana de Billetes de Banco, 1910), p. 17; Tercer censo nacional levantado el 1 de Junio de 1914, vol. 2 (Buenos Aires: Talleres Gráficos de L. J. Rosso y Cía, 1916), p. 148.

43 Schamún, La colectividad siria, p. 12; Schamún, La Siria nueva, p. 29. Sofia Martos has determined that 40 per cent of Arabic-speaking immigrants who arrived between 1882 and 1929 were classified as day labourers, whereas only 11 per cent were registered as merchants: see Sofia D. Martos, ‘The Balancing Act: Ethnicity, Commerce, and Politics among Syrian and Lebanese Immigrants in Argentina, 1890–1955’, unpubl. PhD diss., University of California, Los Angeles, 2007, pp. 68–70.

44 Tercer censo nacional, vol. 2, pp. 129–49; Moya, Cousins and Strangers, pp. 155–8, 170.

45 Delval, Raymond, Les Musulmanes en Amérique Latine et aux Caraïbes (Paris: L'Harmattan, 1992), p. 262.

46 Ruppin, Arthur, Syrien als Wirtschaftsgebeit (Berlin: Verlag Benjamin Harz, 1920), pp. 22–6.

47 Karpat, ‘Ottoman Emigration to America’, p. 199.

48 José Moya notes the same phenomenon among emigrants from Spain. He writes, ‘The social composition of the flow varied according to the stages of its growth curve, with the early phase in the curve containing a disproportionate number of better off or more skilled people’: see Moya, Cousins and Strangers, pp. 230–2.

49 See ‘Kairuz, Amado i otros – Injurias a Manuel Malcún’, Archivo Histórico de la Provincia de Tucumán, caja 220, exp. 13, 18 June 1898.

50 Anuario de estadistica de la Provincia de Tucumán correspondiente al año de 1909 (Buenos Aires: Compañía Sud-Americana de Billetes de Banco, 1911), p. 108; Tercer censo nacional, vol. 2, p. 303; Censo de la Capital de Tucumán (República Argentina), 1913 (Buenos Aires: Compañía Sud-Americana de Billetes de Banco, 1914), pp. 40–7.

52 The data for creating probability tables was taken from the Anuario de estadística de la Provincia de Tucumán. Only the years 1917 and 1921 are missing from the source data. I used the 1914 national census population figures as a constant in figuring the results.

53 The term used by Syrian intellectuals to address themselves and their peers was adīb (pl. udab āʾ), an Arabic term denoting a cultured person as well as a man of letters. Many of these elites were well educated, some even graduating from university, but this was not necessarily a requirement for recognition as such: see Ṣaydaḥ, Jūrj, Adabunā wa udabāʾunā fī al-Mahājir al-Amīrīkīya (4th edition, Tripoli: Maktabat al-Saʾih, 1999), pp. 457507.

54 Lesser and Rein have called for a more sensitive approach to studying ethnic minorities and immigrant communities in Latin America: see Lesser and Rein, ‘Challenging Particularity’, pp. 249–63. In particular, they challenge approaches that assert that immigrants lived apart from or were victims of the host society's national culture. While I recognise the influence of local Argentine society on the Syrian colonies, the emphasis of this essay remains the consequential impact of political transformations taking place in the Ottoman Empire, the circulating nationalisms that existed at the time, and how these processes affected Syrian immigrants.

55 For a facsimile of the July 1909 note to Schamún, see Akmir, ‘La inmigración árabe en Argentina’, p. 820.

56 Sr. Nagib Baaclini: su fallecimiento’, La Gaceta, 23 Oct. 1963.

57 Mahjar, in Arabic, is a noun of place that means ‘land of emigration’, and was at once a particular locale and a shared imagined space that connected Arabic-speakers residing in various places, such as Tucumán, Dakar, New York and Rio de Janeiro, and linked them back to their compatriots who remained in the old country. In contrast to Anderson's focus on the nation and its territoriality, it is significant that print capitalism, for those in the mahjar, would be the driving force for creating a shared sense of connectivity across continents as well as competing nationalisms that emerged towards the end of the First World War: see Anderson, Benedict, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (London: Verso, 1991), pp. 43–5; Gualtieri, Between Arab and White, pp. 81–112.

58 ‘Republic of Letters’ is a term from the Enlightenment that may be defined as ‘a community of discourse about the whole range of knowledge possible to human reason [that] thus transcends the boundaries of genre’: see Shuffleton, Frank, ‘In Different Voices: Gender in the American Republic of Letters’, Early American Literature, 25: 3 (1990), p. 289.

59 There were notable exceptions, such as al-Salām (1902–73), Ṣada al-Sharq (1917–52), al-Jarīda al-Sūriyya al-Lubnāniyya (1929–60) and al-Mursal (1913–40). Ṣada al-Sharq was the first newspaper to be fully bilingual in Arabic and Spanish: see Abdeluahed Akmir, ‘La prensa árabe en Argentina’, in Huellas comunes y miradas cruzadas: mundos árabe, ibérico e iberoamericano (Rabat, Morocco: Universidad Mohamed V, 1995), pp. 291–305.

60 Ibid., p. 294.

62 For North America, see Khater, Inventing Home, pp. 71–107; and Gualtieri, Between Arab and White, pp. 81–112.

63 Tauber, Eliezer, ‘The Press and the Journalist as a Vehicle in Spreading National Ideas in Syria in the Late Ottoman Period’, Die Welt des Islams, 30: 1/4 (1990), pp. 163–77.

64 Samuel Baily and José Moya have briefly discussed the role of homeland politics in regard to the Italian and Spanish communities, arguing that neither group was overwhelmed in forming community institutions. In a separate work, Baily and Ramella excised the portion of letters dealing with politics in Italy, saying they were of minor importance: Baily, Immigrants in the Lands of Promise, pp. 173–81; Moya, Cousins and Strangers, pp. 318–27; Baily and Ramella, One Family, Two Worlds, pp. 1–23.

65 Arribo del cónsul otomano’, La Nación, 30 Oct. 1910; Los Turcos en Buenos Aires’, Caras y Caretas, 1 March 1902.

66 Karpat, ‘The Ottoman Emigration to America’, p. 193.

67 Gualtieri, Between Arab and White, p. 83; Kutlu, Mehmet Necati, ‘Ottoman Subjects in Latin America: An Archive Document and Some Reflections on the Probable Causes of their Immigration’, Archivum Ottomanicum, 25 (2008), pp. 233–44.

68 Carter Findley notes similar confusion throughout the empire in the wake of the promulgation of the Ottoman Constitution. Press censorship prevented the dissemination of accurate information surrounding the events of July 1908 and actually made the revolution far more of a surprise than it would have been otherwise: see Findley, Turkey, Islam, Nationalism, and Modernity, pp. 160–5.

69 Sultan ʿAbd al-Hamid II had Midhat Paşa killed in Ta'if, a town near Mecca, in 1884 while in exile: see Campos, Michelle, Ottoman Brothers: Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Early Twentieth-Century Palestine (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2011), p. 24.

70 La constitución otomana’, La Nación, 9 Sep. 1908.

71 La constitución otomana’, La Nación, 9 Sep. 1908. The orators were Antonio Arida (president of the Commission), Jacobo Suaya, Felipe Omad, Jorge Assaf, Wadi Schamún (editor of al-Salām), Elias Homaine, Hafez Tarazi, Labid Riache and Alejandro Schamún (director of al-Salām).

72 Schamún, La Siria nueva, p. 81.

73 Turbay, Elias, al-Manẓumāt al-Durriyya (Tucumán: Matbaʿ Jarīdat al-Waṭan, 1917), p. 120. In the nine years that passed between the composing of the poem and its publication in the book, Turbay had completed an about-face in terms of political allegiance, and he included a clarification in the poem's introduction.

74 Scobie, James, Secondary Cities of Argentina, p. 151. Scobie incorrectly states that the celebration commemorated the independence of the Republic of Turkey.

75 Gómez, Mario, Tucumán: sus Bellezas y sus Personalidades (Buenos Aires: Federación Gráfica Argentina, 1953), p. 86; Taʾrīkh al-ṣiḥāfa al-ʿarabiyya fī al-Tūkūmān’, al-Nasr, Jan. 1923, pp. 7386.

76 Supplement to al-Zamān, no. 300, 30 March 1909. The Samra brothers were Christians from a village near Tripoli. The paper's front page possessed both the Argentine and Ottoman coat of arms. According to notes found in the file at the Centre des Archives Nationales in Beirut, the paper's role in Syrian life in Argentina was critical. The brothers acted as interlocutors and conciliators between the Arabic-speaking community and Argentines, as well as peacemakers within the community itself. In addition, they played a critical role in simmering down the controversy between the Ottoman consul, Emir Emin Arslan, and certain members of the colony who rejected Arslan's attempt to give Ottoman citizenship to children of immigrants from the empire. See file on al-Zamān, Centre des Archives Nationales, Beirut.

77 Supplement to al-Zamān, no. 300, 30 March 1909.

79 El Cónsul General de Turquía’, El País, 30 Oct. 1910.

80 Arribo del Cónsul Otomano’, La Nación, 30 Oct. 1910.

81 Ibid.; Llegada del Cónsul Otomano’, La Prensa, 30 Oct. 1910.

82 Llegada del Cónsul Otomano’, La Prensa, 30 Oct. 1910; Arribo del Cónsul Otomano’, La Nación, 30 Oct. 1910.

83 Arribo del Cónsul Otomano’, La Nación, 30 Oct. 1910.

85 Ibid.; El Cónsul General de Turquía’, El País, 30 Oct. 1910.

86 Arribo del Cónsul Otomano’, La Nación, 30 Oct. 1910.

87 Copies of the related correspondence, dated 4 Feb. 1910, 24 Feb. 1911, 25 June 1912 and 6 May 1913 respectively, are in Akmir, ‘La inmigración árabe en Argentina’, pp. 784–96. The Decentralisation Party, founded in January 1913, was based in Egypt and led by Syrian émigrés, and advocated administrative decentralisation of the Arab lands within the Ottoman imperial superstructure: see Khoury, Philip S., Urban Notables and Arab Nationalism: The Politics of Damascus, 1860–1920 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983), pp. 63–4.

88 Tarikh as-Sahafat al-‘Arabiyyah fi at-Tūkūmān’, al-Nasr, Jan. 1923, p. 73.

89 Ibid., pp. 73–4.

90 ‘Taḥiyya al-ikhlāṣ b-ism al-rābiṭa al-adabiyya al-Tūkūmāniyya’, al-Saʿāda, part 1 (May 1920). The majority of the members of the commission were important merchants within the Syrian colony of Tucumán, but it also included at least one merchant from the province of Jujuy. The members were Muslims and Christians.

91 For a full development of the notion of competing loyalties, see Khalidi, Rashid, Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness (New York: Columbia University Press, 1997), pp. 6388.

92 Abderrahman, Mohamed Yassine, Adalid rioplatense (Buenos Aires, 1954), p. 159.

93 Abderrahman, Adalid rioplatense, p. 160. The pro-Ottoman circle articulated their position in the periodicals al-ʿAlam al-ʿUthmānī, led by Saifuddin Rahal, and al-Shams. Rahal was an Egyptian who studied at the premier Islamic institution of learning, al-Azhar in Cairo. He would be a leading voice of the Muslim community in Argentina through the first half of the twentieth century. In the 1920s he established an Islamic school with a curriculum based on the modernist teachings of Jamaleddin al-Afghani and Muhammad Abduh, both instructors at al-Azhar. Abduh was Grand Mufti of Egypt from 1899 to 1905.

94 Abderrahman, Adalid rioplatense, pp. 160–1.

95 Akmir, ‘La inmigración árabe en Argentina’, pp. 422–31.

96 Contador Interventor al Juez, 14 May 1914, Archivo General de la Provincia de Tucumán, Sucesión de Andrés Getar, caja 860, exp. 17, serie E; Taʾrīkh al-ṣiḥāfa al-ʿarabiyya fī al-Tūkūmān’, al-Nasr, Jan. 1923, pp. 75–7.

97 Turbay, al-Manẓumāt al-Durriyya, p. 53; ‘El Líbano’, La Gaceta, 20 and 21 Oct. 1915. In introducing the essay, Baaclini, the editor of Ṣada al-Sharq, declared that, although he did not entirely agree with Eleas’ arguments, the essay merited continued discussion and debate within the colony: see Ṣada al-Sharq, 1 Dec. 1917.

98 ‘El Líbano’, La Gaceta, 21 Oct. 1915.

99 Newton, German Buenos Aires, 1900–1933, p. 49.

100 Fī Sabīl al-Wājib’, al-Nasr, 3 (1 May 1917), pp. 73–7.

101 Ibid., p. 77. Baaclini's speech was reprinted in Arabic by al-Nasr.

102 Gualtieri, Between Arab and White, p. 99.

103 Quoted in Akmir, ‘La inmigración árabe en Argentina’, p. 421.

104 al-Umma al-Sūriyya’, al-Mursal, 28 Feb. 1917.

105 al-Fakāha, aw Sayf al-Dīn Raḥāl’, al-Nasr, 3 (1 May 1917); Ila al-ʿAlam al-ʿUthmānī’, al-Naṣr, 6 (15 June 1917).

106 Bobrik to Pueyrredón, 30 July 1917, Archivo Histórico de Cancillería, caja 1691, exp. 7.

107 Akmir, ‘La inmigración árabe en Argentina’, pp. 102–7.

108 Tauber, Eliezer, The Arab Movements in World War I (London: Frank Cass, 1993), pp. 208–18.

109 Kalimātunā al-ūla’, al-Hadīqa, 3 Jan. 1922.

110 Ibid.

111 Taḥiyya al-Shabība’, al-Shabība al-Muttaḥida, 3 Feb. 1923.

112 Newton, German Buenos Aires, pp. 169–83; Moya, Cousins and Strangers, pp. 318–27; Baily, Immigrants in the Lands of Promise, pp. 174–7. It is unclear what impact the Spanish Civil War had on the Spanish immigrant community in Buenos Aires.

113 Choate, Mark, Emigrant Nation: The Making of Italy Abroad (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2008).

* I wish to thank my mentor, Donna J. Guy, who read the essay at various stages of development and provided the criticism to improve it. I also benefited from the support and perceptive comments of Kenneth J. Andrien, Carter V. Findley, José Antonio Sánchez Roman and Ryan Skinner, as well as from colleagues and friends, notably Isa Blumi, Andy Clarno, Di Luo, Julie Maiorana, Dave McLaughlin, Kawa Morad and the O'Malleys. I appreciated the comments and criticisms from the four anonymous reviewers, which made the article stronger. I am thankful for financial support from the Social Science Research Council, the Fulbright Fellowship Program and the College of Humanities, Department of History, Middle East Studies Centre and Centre for Latin American Studies at Ohio State University, which allowed to me to conduct the necessary archival research in Argentina, Lebanon and Syria.

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