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In her study of the census data, El-Badry found that more than 27,000 people from Arab countries immigrated to the United States in 1992, 68 percent more than those who arrived ten years earlier, not including Palestinians from Israel or Israeli-occupied territory.

The early immigrants were mostly unskilled single men who had left their families behind.

Like many economically motivated immigrants during this period, Arabs left with the intention of earning money and returning home to live out the remainder of their lives in relative prosperity.

Others homesteaded on the Great Plains and in rural areas of the South.

Very few Arabic-speaking immigrants made their way across the Atlantic during the interwar period marked by the Great Depression and anti-immigrant sentiment.

Arabic-speaking immigrants arrived in the United States in three major waves.

The first wave between the late 1800s and World War I consisted mainly of immigrants from Greater Syria, an Arab province of the Ottoman Empire until the end of World War I.

Today, the term Arab is a cultural, linguistic, and to some extent, political designation.

It embraces numerous national and regional groups as well as many non-Muslim religious minorities.

Curiously, this literary circle, which came to be known as the Pen League ( al-Rabita al-Qalamiyya ) had a negligible influence on the early Arab American communities in the United States.

The Pen League's greatest impact was on arts and letters in Lebanon, Egypt, and other Arab countries.

The 1990 census indicates that most Arab Americans are U. citizens (82 percent) even though only 63 percent were born in the United States.

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