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Query : institute/department: "MIGRINTER"

AuthorG.G. Hourani
TitleRationale behind the "Whiteness" of the Syrian-Lebanese in South Africa and the United States of America in Two Court Cases
PlaceMexico City
Institute/dept.MIGRINTER - Migrations Internationales, Espaces et Sociétés
KeywordsCitizenship/legal status; Culture; Religion; Identity; Transnationalism; Cities/Countries
AbstractSubjects such as discrimination on racial basis, racial segregation, ethnicity, "whiteness", and citizenship of immigrants have gained increasing attention from scholars and researchers worldwide in the last few decades. Syrians and Lebanese emigrants have undergone different types of classification and different levels of treatment in various countries. Two lawsuits, one in South Africa and another in the United States of America were filed, the first in 1913 and the latter in 1915. The appellants were men, Christians and Syrian-Lebanese immigrants. One of them, Moses Gandur, was denied the registration of his newly purchased property in the Rand Township of Johannesburg on the grounds that he belonged to the "Native Races of Asia" who were prohibited from owning land outside their segregated areas according to Law No. 3 of 1885; the other, George Dow of South Carolina, was refused naturalization on the basis that he did not meet the racial requirements of the United States law section 2169 of the amended act of 1870, which limited naturalization to "aliens being free white persons and to aliens of African nativity and to persons of African descent." The paper will highlight the different interpretations of the words "Native Races of Asia" and "inboorling" in the Gandur case pronounced by the Judges of the South African Supreme Court, it will present the rationale provided by the United States Court of Appeals in determining the "whiteness" of George Dow, it will also show the arguments of the defense in the lawsuits. These two cases were chosen for the reason that they were landmarks in conferring the status of 'white' race on the Syrian/Lebanese immigrants in both South Africa and the USA; and that they set precedence which facilitated the ruling in comparable cases. While the Dow case has been studied many times over, the Gandur one remained unexamined.
Document typeLecture