Skip to comments.Middle Easterners Streaming Into Texas: Study Say Most Live In Houston
Posted on 08/20/2002 7:08:08 AM PDT by yankeedame
Aug. 14, 2002, 9:49PM
Middle Easterners streaming to Texas
Study says most live in Houston
By EDWARD HEGSTROM
Copyright 2002 Houston Chronicle
Texas has one of the nation's fastest-growing Middle Eastern populations, and most of the state's immigrants live in Houston, according to a study based on census data.
Researchers at the Center for Immigration Studies say Texas' Middle Eastern population more than doubled in the last decade, to just over 100,000, including more than 52,000 in Greater Houston.
The state, not known as a traditional destination for Middle Easterners, now ranks third behind New York and California.
"This shows Texas is not just a destination for Mexicans anymore," said Steven Camarota, author of the study released Wednesday.
He called the Middle Eastern population one of the nation's fastest-growing immigrant groups, and that they are, on average, far better educated and slightly better paid than native-born Americans.
Surprisingly, though, Camarota found, about 23 percent of the Middle Easterners use some sort of welfare, higher than the native population.
Greater Houston's Middle Easterners form the seventh-largest concentration in this country. Iranians are the biggest group locally, followed by Pakistanis and Saudis.
However, Middle Easterners may go virtually unnoticed in Houston "because they are spread out," said Nidal Zayer, a columnist at a local Arabic paper, Al Maraya. "They are in Pasadena, along FM 1960, in Sugar Land -- everywhere."
Pockets of Arabic culture are turning up even in outlying areas like the strip malls along Veterans Memorial Drive north of Beltway 8, where women wearing shawls can get their hands painted with henna, and shoppers can purchase the halal Muslim meat.
"People go wherever the jobs are, I guess," says Shaukat Shah, managing the register Wednesday at Fyza's Grocery and Halal Meat along Veterans Memorial. Muslims and Middle Easterners, he said, don't want to be congregated in one area.
Down the road, past empty fields and a repair shop with a tractor parked out front, a local Muslim leader leads boys in prayer at a mosque, one of more than 70 in the area.
"Houston is a more cosmopolitan city than people think," said Mustafa Tameez, a political consultant and Muslim. "Even some of us who live here don't realize that."
Camarota, a specialist at studying immigrant demographics, said he completed the study because so many people ask him about the size of this nation's Muslim and Middle Eastern populations. The census does not ask about religion, so estimates on the size of the Muslim population vary wildly.
Camarota chose instead to look at the Middle Eastern population, but he defined the region more broadly than is normally done by including Pakistanis and North Africans.
He estimated there were nearly 1.5 million Middle Easterners in the country in 2000 -- not including their U.S.-born children -- or seven times the number here 30 years earlier.
Camarota predicts the population will grow to nearly 2.5 million in 2010. As it grows and becomes more influential, he predicts, it will exert its influence politically, which could change U.S. policy toward the Middle East.
Some Arabs agree.
Tameez, the political consultant, says newly arrived immigrants think only of surviving. But as some settle down, become citizens and prosper, they begin to think of things like participating in politics.
"That's the pinnacle of success," he said. "Once you have money, you want influence, and that means political influence."
The Washington-based Center for Immigration Studies favors reducing immigration levels
Not a chance
Right off the bat, here in A's the first pages are headed, Abushair-to-Adejokun, second page, Adekunle-to-Ahmed, third page, Ahmed-to-Alderson (how did that Englishman get in there?), fourth page, Aldiwan-to-Allen, fifth page, Allen-to-Almazan, sixth page, Almefeh-to-Amaro, seventh page, Anderson-to-Annen. Then we have Aziz, Balasubramaniam, Beshears.
Not to worry, they will never become political activist.
Christians send a handfull of missionaries to other countries whereas Muslims flood other countries with millions of true believers/activists. Which approach do you think will get quicker results?
Those countries are HOSTILE and/or closed to Christian missionaries. In many cases, they have to go in disguised as workers of some sort (like Heather and Dana in Afghanistan).
We, on the other hand, open our arms to just about anybody. The blessing and curse of being a democracy.
HUH? I hope your joking....
I wish it were a joke, but it isn't.
Is that a line from "Ship of Fools" or does it just sound like it?
Might not be a bad idea to start photographing autos & license numbers, too.
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