ANN ARBOR (AP) – The University of Michigan will survey Arab-Americans in the Detroit area, a population now estimated at somewhere between 100,000 and 300,000 people.

The University Institute for Social Research will sample 1,000 Arab-Americans in the Detroit area, plus another 500 non-Arabs.

Researchers hope to show the similarities and differences in attitudes, behavior and opinions among various Arab-American groups and between these groups and other Americans.

“The aftermath of Sept. 11 has brought new urgency to issues of national identity, multiculturalism and social trust and has raised new questions about what being an American means,” said Wayne Baker, the project’s team leader.

“In defending themselves against the suspicion of terrorism, Arab-Americans have been forced to confront their own national, religious and ethnic commitments, as well as their trust in U.S. institutions.

“This survey will also explore their relationships to each other, to non-Arab Americans and to their relatives, friends and other Arabs in the Middle East,” said Baker, who will work with the school’s Dearborn Center for Arab American Studies researcher Ronald Stockton.

The Detroit area’s Arab-American and Chaldean community is one of the largest, most concentrated and best- known Arab expatriate populations in the world.

Baker and Stockton call it one of the most diverse, in religion as well as national origin, with Lebanese, Palestinians, Yemenis and Iraqis living alongside Syrians, Jordanians, Egyptians, Moroccans and people from other Middle Eastern and North African countries.

Face-to-face interviews with randomly selected residents are scheduled to begin in the early spring of 2003 and will continue throughout the summer, the University said. Preliminary findings will be available in the fall of 2003.

Established in 1948, the Institute for Social Research is among the world’s oldest survey research organizations.

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