Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 10, Issue 5, pp 429–436 | Cite as

Arab American Immigrants in New York: Health Care and Cancer Knowledge, Attitudes, and Beliefs

  • Susan M. Shah
  • Claudia Ayash
  • Nora Alarifi Pharaon
  • Francesca M. GanyEmail author
Original Paper


Arab immigrants living in the United States total between 1.5 million and 3.5 million, and have been growing in number each decade. New York’s Arab population, at 405,000, ranks third in the U.S. after California and Michigan. Despite the large numbers, little health research has focused on this population. Data about the cancer incidence, mortality, and screening practices of Arab Americans is overwhelmingly lacking. To better understand the health care and cancer knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs of Arab American immigrants, five single-gender focus groups were convened with Arab men and women in New York City. Attention was given to factors that act as barriers to utilization of general health care services, and of cancer prevention, treatment, and support services. The data revealed the importance of providing culturally and linguistically appropriate health interventions in partnership with trusted community leaders, and the need for follow-up research of this understudied immigrant population.


Arab Middle East Immigrants Cancer Health care access 



Funding for this project was provided by the National Cancer Institute’s Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities (UO1 CA86286). We would like to acknowledge the following contributors: TAMKEEN: The Center for Arab American Empowerment, Inc.; Ghada Jiha, M.A.; Souha Nikowitz, Ph.D.; Afrah Yusr; Dikra Algutaini; Maha Elattar, M.D.; Hanan Salman, M.D.; Samreen Hasan; Chafic Ayoub.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan M. Shah
    • 1
  • Claudia Ayash
    • 2
  • Nora Alarifi Pharaon
    • 3
  • Francesca M. Gany
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Center for Immigrant HealthNew York University School of MedicineNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.NYU Cancer InstituteNew York University School of MedicineNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.TAMKEEN: The Center for Arab American Empowerment, Inc.BrooklynUSA

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