The Syrian Business Directory
In 1908 Salloum Mokarzel (the brother of Naoum Mokarzel, the publisher of Al-Hoda, one of the earliest Arabic newspapers in the US) and H.F. Otash published an Arabic/English directory of the businesses owned by “Syrians” (as all early immigrants from the Eastern Mediterranean were called) in the US.
A century later, the directory provides an intimate look into early business owners. With over 3,300 businesses, the Directory represents a significant sample (around 25%) of early immigrants in 1908, and thus can be taken as closely resembling the overall Lebanese-American population. The directory (to the right) lists in English: state, city and street address of the business, the name(s) of the owner(s), and the type of business they run. In Arabic, the directory provides the names, type of business and their natal village, town or city in the Middle East.
Finally, we have mapped this data onto maps of Lebanon and the US to show their location and town of origin. To access this visualization you may go here.
Scope and Contents
- Catalog of the businesses
- Serve as a link between the traders and manufacturers and their American counterparts
- Proclaim the “Syrians” as “born businessmen” who fit naturally into the American capitalist system
- The Syrian Business Directory