The Arab Immigration Oral History Digital Collection holds oral history interviews by Richard Saltzburg and Professor Esam Alhadi.

The Arab Immigration Oral History Digital Collection is a project sponsored by the UF Libraries' mini grant program.

The Arab Immigration Oral History Digital Collection project aims to make available through Oral History interviews the life and professional experiences of Arab immigrants who have settled in Florida after leaving their homelands. The interviews are recorded digitally in Arabic and English and are also transcribed into English and available as PDFs. Our collection is intended to help scholars, researchers, students and the general public to understand the reasons why certain Arabs immigrate to Florida. These interviews reveal specific life and professional experiences these immigrants have had and how they have created a new home for themselves in Florida. Documentation of Arab immigrants' experience may have previously been approached through a number of single- or multi-authored scholarly books, textbooks and articles. Whereas it is almost inevitable that such publications will be marked by the bias of their authors, the audio material collected for this project provides a unilateral dimension to both culture and history by virtue of placing primary focus on the voices of the Arab immigrants themselves. To this end, we tried to use open ended questions during the interviews and we let them speak at length on any topic.

Another target this project is aiming for is to give a preview on Arab culture in diaspora. Unlike other projects that focus on the socio-economic and geo-political factors that contribute to shaping the cultural life of the Arabs in their homeland countries, this collection intends to provide an answer to what defines and shapes Arab culture in diaspora. This will be tied to immigrants' perspective on education, social and family life and the efforts to blend into the wider Florida and American society.

See all of the full collection materials.>>


Revealing Florida’s Arab Immigrants Phase II: The Arab Business Community

Revealing Florida’s Arab Immigrants Phase II: The Arab Business Community is a collection of oral histories in the Arabic language recorded from participants who are Arab immigrant business people living in Florida. These individuals come from Arab speaking countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa. The interviewer has strived to capture their personal histories.  Their stories provide information about their country of origin, education, occupation and their current living conditions. Our educational objective is to discover the many ways Arab immigrants use business to earn a living in America. See all materials for this collection.>>

Please direct questions to Richard Saltzburg or Esam Alhadi. We hope you enjoy this collection.