The Lebanese in Los Angeles: Migration and Transnationalism in a Multi-racial Landscape


Charles A. Ryskamp Research Fellowships


History and American Studies


This project traces the history of Lebanese migration and settlement in Los Angeles from the late nineteenth century to the end of World War II. Through an analysis of oral histories, Arabic- and English-language newspapers and magazines, naturalization records, business directories, and other sources, this study investigates the emergence of a Lebanese economic niche in grocery and dry goods stores; explores the community's relationships with other ethnic groups; and examines the role of immigrant institutions in maintaining links to the homeland. This project demonstrates how the Lebanese in Los Angeles provide a major window through which to study a trade diaspora, and it enhances understandings of the interplay of local and transnational dynamics that shaped the Lebanese-American experience. The primary research sites are Los Angeles, California and Beirut, Lebanon.