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Old 04-15-2009, 12:28 PM
 
8,750 posts, read 16,438,626 times
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So like a good PR boy, I always understood that I am foremost Spanish, and likely have Taino and African blood in me, because that is what we are told PRs major influences were. Of course there were a variety of other settlers, including varying Europeans, Asians, Jews, etc, but the Spanish/Taino/African mix is the most abundant (for lack of a better word). That being said, I recently took a dna test to get some insight into my lineage, and discovered that I am basically 100% Arab (a mix of different Arab populations), and that the region of the world that I am most similar to, genetically, is not Latin America (or any Latin American country) or Europe, it is Mesopotamia (Iran/Iraq areas). In fact, my closest genetic relatives are the Kurds in Northern Iraq. So my questions are these: Both my parents are from PR, as are my grandparents, however I have virtually NO Spanish/European, Taino, or African influence of any substance, and am basically 100% of Arab descent. How is this possible? Is this common? How large was/is the middle eastern influence in Puerto Rico historically? Could PR be surpressing the role of middle eastern migration for some reason or maybe just doesn't know how large a role it played?
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Old 04-15-2009, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Bronx, NY
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Wow.... this is crazy...... So I may have arab in me too... Where did you take the test? I want to take the test as well.
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Old 04-15-2009, 01:16 PM
 
8,750 posts, read 16,438,626 times
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The test was DNA Tribes Personal Genetic Analysis but prepare to be surprised!!!!
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Old 04-15-2009, 05:03 PM
 
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
174 posts, read 534,052 times
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Several months ago, I saw a news report on WAPA TV that showed protesters in San Juan protesting the Israel/Palestinian conflict in Israel. What surprised me was the fact that there were so many people from the middle east living in Puerto Rico. Are these folks recent arrivals or have they been living in Puerto Rico for a while?
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Old 04-15-2009, 05:20 PM
 
2,875 posts, read 3,414,976 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MKE-Ed View Post
Several months ago, I saw a news report on WAPA TV that showed protesters in San Juan protesting the Israel/Palestinian conflict in Israel. What surprised me was the fact that there were so many people from the middle east living in Puerto Rico. Are these folks recent arrivals or have they been living in Puerto Rico for a while?
I grew up in the island during the 70's. Even then, there was an Arab family (nationality unknown) in our "urbanización." They were textile merchants who had a retail store. Aside from their store, they would often go from house to house selling their sheet, blankets, pillow cases, etc.

We would at times laugh at them because of the way they pronounced the word "colcha." They would go to people's homes and say, "zeñora, zeñora...¿quiere comprar una chorcha?"

Even my grandmother laughed out loud once because of that!

Since then, it stands to reason that more Arabs have migrated to the island given that there is now a Mosque in my home town. My undersating is that there are a total of three Mosques in the island.
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Old 04-17-2009, 08:14 AM
 
Location: New York City
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We have a long standing Arab presence in the Virgin Islands as well. I've always been told they came to the Virgin Islands to flee the Six-Day war in Israel in the late 60s or even the Israeli-Palestinian war of the late 1940s. Why they chose the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, thousands of miles away, is beyond me.
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Old 05-15-2009, 08:15 PM
 
Location: Center of the universe
24,672 posts, read 34,777,846 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chacho_keva View Post
I grew up in the island during the 70's. Even then, there was an Arab family (nationality unknown) in our "urbanización." They were textile merchants who had a retail store. Aside from their store, they would often go from house to house selling their sheet, blankets, pillow cases, etc.

We would at times laugh at them because of the way they pronounced the word "colcha." They would go to people's homes and say, "zeñora, zeñora...¿quiere comprar una chorcha?"

Even my grandmother laughed out loud once because of that!

Since then, it stands to reason that more Arabs have migrated to the island given that there is now a Mosque in my home town. My undersating is that there are a total of three Mosques in the island.
From what I have heard, there are more than three mosques now. There has been Arab immigration to Puerto Rico since the turn of the last century. Most were Lebanese and Syrian Christians. An old friend of mine from college was from San Juan and of Lebanese descent. I know another jazz musician with the same background. Since the 70s there has been a small but growing Palestinian Muslim community as well.
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Old 05-19-2009, 04:37 AM
 
Location: On a Long Island in NY
7,732 posts, read 8,773,266 times
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I was always under the assumption that PR is pretty darn close to 90%+ Catholic and everything I have seen on my trips has indicated this. Granted I have rarely been outside the Magagyez/Rincon/Aguadilla/Cabo Rojo area.

The only thing I can think of is I have seen one Jewish temple and perhaps you are all confusing Arabs and Muslims. There are quite a few Arab Christians (especially in and from Lebanon and Syria) who came here (to the US and the West aka Europe, Australia, Canada, etc) to flee the ethnic cleansing by the so called "religion of peace" followers.

Edit: I have also found out that Trinidad & Tobago and Guyana also have shockingly high Muslim populations. I never knew that, I learn something new everyday lol.
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Old 05-19-2009, 07:55 PM
 
229 posts, read 694,275 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SobroGuy View Post
So like a good PR boy, I always understood that I am foremost Spanish, and likely have Taino and African blood in me, because that is what we are told PRs major influences were. Of course there were a variety of other settlers, including varying Europeans, Asians, Jews, etc, but the Spanish/Taino/African mix is the most abundant (for lack of a better word). That being said, I recently took a dna test to get some insight into my lineage, and discovered that I am basically 100% Arab (a mix of different Arab populations), and that the region of the world that I am most similar to, genetically, is not Latin America (or any Latin American country) or Europe, it is Mesopotamia (Iran/Iraq areas). In fact, my closest genetic relatives are the Kurds in Northern Iraq. So my questions are these: Both my parents are from PR, as are my grandparents, however I have virtually NO Spanish/European, Taino, or African influence of any substance, and am basically 100% of Arab descent. How is this possible? Is this common? How large was/is the middle eastern influence in Puerto Rico historically? Could PR be surpressing the role of middle eastern migration for some reason or maybe just doesn't know how large a role it played?

Well, if you know that the Arabs dominated Iberia for 300 years, this should not come as a surprise to you.

I do not know it for a fact, but I have always been convinced that my ancestry is of Arabic origin, probably through Spain. Even though all my immediate, back to my grand, grand parents where born in Puerto Rico.

Just as an exercise, watch any video taken in the streets of Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon, heck pick almost any middle eastern country, but mute the sound. Then ignore the local indicators, and just look at the faces. When I do that, I find myself thinking "that could easily be a Rio Piedras street scene"
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Old 05-20-2009, 08:46 AM
 
Location: Center of the universe
24,672 posts, read 34,777,846 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WIHS2006 View Post
I was always under the assumption that PR is pretty darn close to 90%+ Catholic and everything I have seen on my trips has indicated this. Granted I have rarely been outside the Magagyez/Rincon/Aguadilla/Cabo Rojo area.

The only thing I can think of is I have seen one Jewish temple and perhaps you are all confusing Arabs and Muslims. There are quite a few Arab Christians (especially in and from Lebanon and Syria) who came here (to the US and the West aka Europe, Australia, Canada, etc) to flee the ethnic cleansing by the so called "religion of peace" followers.

Edit: I have also found out that Trinidad & Tobago and Guyana also have shockingly high Muslim populations. I never knew that, I learn something new everyday lol.
Yes, T&T and Guyana received many Hindu and Muslim immigrants from India beginning in the late 1800s. Many of them did the same work as indentured servants that African slaves and their descendants did. There are also small populations of Afro-Caribbean converts to Islam in T&T (and in PR; most converted in the USA). Also small Indian Muslim and Hindu communities in Guadeloupe, Martinique and Venezuela (most of Trini descent).
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