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Grant number like: FT-248802-16

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John Tofik Karam
Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois (Champaign, IL 61801-3620)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2016 – 7/31/2016

Arabs at a South American Border Remaking the Hemisphere

A book-length study of Arab immigrants in the border region of Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina.

I am applying for a NEH Summer Stipend to complete my book, "Manifold Destiny: Arabs at a South American Border Remaking the Hemisphere." It asks "How did Arabs at the "tríplice fronteira" (tri-border) between Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina transform these Americas?" Arab traders and activists built a plural hemisphere and brought an end to the U.S. dominance enshrined in the doctrine of "manifest destiny." In the 1950s, Lebanese and Palestinians began settling on the Brazilian and Paraguayan sides of the tri-border. Starting in the 1970s, their economic and political networks consolidated Brazil’s clout over the once Argentine-dominated Paraguay. Since the 1990s, they leveraged this new sphere of influence in relation to Mercosul and U.S. impositions. Arabs served as transformative agents of this hemisphere whereby no single authority rules, collaborating and competing in the many-sided struggles among Brazilian, Paraguayan, Argentine, U.S., and other powers.