Palestinian Americans (Multicultural America:)
In 1908, the Ottoman Empire, having ruled Palestinians for four centuries, began drafting young Palestinian men into military service in preparation for World War I. Many Palestinians sought to avoid serving the Ottomans. In a 1930s interview, Ibrahim Hassan describes his father's journey to America to avoid the bloodshed of war and subsequent struggles of a Palestinian immigrant family. Ibrahim's father left for the United States in 1913 temporarily leaving his family behind. Many early Palestinian immigrants settled on the East Coast. However, Ibrahim's father settled in Lincoln, Nebraska where he opened a restaurant. With the conclusion of the war and defeat of the Ottoman Empire, Hassan returned to rejoin his family in Palestine in 1920.
In 1923, missing the lifestyle of the United States, Mr. Hassan moved his wife and Ibrahim to America, regretfully leaving behind extended family and friends. Like many Palestinians, Ibrahim adapted quickly to U.S. society while still retaining his ancestral pride. Despite desires to become a lawyer, his father insisted Ibrahim become employed and not spend more money on schooling.
With Palestine historically lying at the ancient crossroads of East and West trade, the peddler occupation had long been common among Muslim Palestinians. Ibrahim chose an occupation conforming with his Palestinian heritage. He became a...
(The entire section is 1329 words.)
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