Chronology

1900  At least 208 Arabic-speaking immigrants live in Indiana; Sadie Hider is one of them

1905 Martha and Salma Freije arrive in the Syrian colony on Willard Street

1910  Syrian immigrants in Indiana now total more than 1,000 people 

1924 National Origins Act virtually bans immigration from Syria; Julia David weds Nicholas Shaheen

1926 St. George Syrian Orthodox Church is established

1927 Waheeb Salim Zarick receives M.D. degree from Indiana University

1935 There are dozens of Arabic-speaking grocers in Indianapolis

1936 The Syrian American Brotherhood clubhouse hosts first meeting of the Midwest Federation of Syrian and Lebanese Clubs

1937 John Haramy finishes IU dissertation, “The Palestine Mandate: A Study in Conflicting Interests”

1957 Michael Tamer leads fundraising for St. Jude Children’s Hospital

1964 Helen Corey becomes first Arab American elected to statewide office

1965 Immigration and Naturalization Act opens door to more Arab immigrants

1972 St. Vincent’s Hospital asks Dr. William Nasser to establish their cardiology center

1990 Former Warren Central High School quarterback Jeff George selected first overall in NFL draft by the Indianapolis Colts

2004 Mitch Daniels, grandson of Syrian immigrants, elected Indiana Governor

2010  U.S. Census reports 19,720 Hoosiers of Arab descent; Arab American institute says it’s 46,122—the largest group is Syrian-Lebanese

2015 Gov. Mike Pence attempts, unsuccessfully, to ban Syrian refugees from settling in Indiana

2017 Immigrants from Egypt, Iraq, and Jordan are more numerous; Syrians and Lebanese remain largest group

2018 Nermeen Mouftah, specialist in Islamic studies, appointed assistant professor at Butler University

2020 Fady Qaddoura is the first Arab Muslim elected to the Indiana State Senate

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