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The second wave of immigrants was different than the first in that it contained a significant number of Muslims.
By the 1950s, Arab immigrants had settled in major cities across the United States.
In the late 1960s, following Palestinian displacement in the wake of the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, a large number of Palestinians emigrated to the United States.
Some came to escape religious persecution in the Ottoman Empire, but most came for economic opportunity, as, like most immigrants, they felt that the United States would offer them the opportunity to build a better life.
The typical Arab immigrant of that period was young, male, single and Christian.
These functions became increasingly necessary, as events in the Middle East, from the oil embargo to hijackings, combined with well organized media campaigns to link Arab Americans with terrorism, made Arabs and Arab Americans increasingly stereotyped and suspect to many Americans.
These functions grew in importance in the 2000s, following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.Given their unique circumstances, they brought with them a greater ethnic pride and political awareness that would ignite the development of an Arab American identity and spark the community’s political activism in the 1970s and 1980s.Even for some second- and third-generation Arab Americans, who had few remaining attachments to the Middle East and barely spoke Arabic, the ethnic and political consciousness of the new arrivals helped generate a greater awareness of their Arab heritage.The first generation of immigrants from the Middle East began arriving in the late 19th century.