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British Arab

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British Arab

British Arabs
Mo Ibrahim
Total population


110,000 in London
Regions with significant populations
London, Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield, Glasgow, Cardiff, Newcastle upon Tyne, Leicester
Arabic (160,000 native speakers in England and Wales) · British English
Predominantly Islam (Sunni and Shia)
minority Christianity
Related ethnic groups
'Other Ethnic Group' (UK Census), Arabs

British Arabs are Arab people living or born in the United Kingdom.


Unlike Black British or Asian British, the term British Arab was not one of those employed in government ethnicity categorisations used in the 2001 UK Census and for national statistics.[2] As a result, community members are believed to have been under-counted in previous population estimates. This absence of a separate "Arab" category in the UK census obliged many to select other ethnicity categories.[3] In the late 2000s, the British government announced that an "Arab" ethnicity category would be added to the 2011 UK Census for the first time.[4] The decision came at the request of the National Association of British Arabs (NABA) and other Arab organizations, who lobbied for the inclusion of a separate "Arab" entry to accommodate under-reported groups from the Arab world.[5] As a result, 240,000 British Arabs were reported in the 2011 UK Census.[1] Around 110,000 of whom reside in London.

"British Arabs" is used as an official ethnic designation by the National Association of British Arabs.[6] It is also employed by academics,[7] and in the media.[8]

NABA estimates that there are around 500,000 first and second generation British Arabs. The majority originate from Iraq, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, Morocco, Palestine and Lebanon. Most live in the Greater London area, and many are either businesspeople, recent immigrants or students.[3]

A diverse community, British Arabs are represented in the business and media fields, among other areas. Miladi (2006)'s survey of 146 community members during the summer of 2001 reported Al-Jazeera as being the respondents' preferred news outlet. Reasons supplied for the selection included the quality of the station's programs and transmission, its discussion of current issues in the Arab world, and the possibility of giving voice to the community's concerns and positions on various matters.[9]

Additionally, 2010 was a breakthrough year in terms of political participation. Several British Arabs ran for and/or were appointed to office as community representatives.[10][11]

See also


External links

  • National Association of British Arabs
  • British Arabs Resource Centre
  • Arab British Chamber of Commerce (ABCC)
  • BBC Arab London
  • Reassessing what we collect website – Arab London History of Arab London with objects and images
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