List of Arab and Middle-Eastern Americans in the United States Congress

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This is a list of Arab Americans and Middle-Eastern Americans in the U.S. Congress. The first Arab American to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives was George A. Kasem in 1959, and the first Arab-American U.S. Senator was James Abourezk in 1973. Currently, there are six U.S. Representatives and no U.S. Senators of Arab-American descent serving in Congress.[1][2] The first Assyrian American to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives was Adam Benjamin in 1977,[3] and there currently is one Assyrian-American U.S. Representative serving in Congress.

Senate[edit]

Picture Senator
(lifespan)
Arab or Middle-Eastern Ethnicity Party State Term start Term end Notes
Sen. Abourezk James Abourezk
(born 1931)
Lebanese Democratic South Dakota January 3, 1973 January 3, 1979 Retired
Sen. Mitchell George J. Mitchell
(born 1933)
Lebanese Democratic Maine May 17, 1980 January 3, 1995 Retired
Sen. Abdnor James Abdnor
(1923–2012)
Lebanese Republican South Dakota January 3, 1981 January 3, 1987 Lost reelection
Sen. Abraham Spencer Abraham
(born 1952)
Lebanese Republican Michigan January 3, 1995 January 3, 2001 Lost reelection
Sen. Sununu John E. Sununu
(born 1964)
Palestinian,
Lebanese
Republican New Hampshire January 3, 2003 January 3, 2009 Lost reelection

House of Representatives[edit]

Picture Representative
(lifespan)
Arab or Middle-Eastern Ethnicity Party State Term start Term end Notes
Rep. Kasem George A. Kasem
(1919–2002)
Lebanese Democratic California January 3, 1959 January 3, 1961 Lost reelection
Rep. Kazen Abraham Kazen
(1919–1987)
Lebanese Democratic Texas January 3, 1967 January 3, 1985 Lost renomination
Rep. Abourezk James Abourezk
(born 1931)
Lebanese Democratic South Dakota January 3, 1971 January 3, 1973 Retired to run successfully for U.S. Senator from South Dakota
Rep. Abdnor James Abdnor
(1923–2012)
Lebanese Republican South Dakota January 3, 1973 January 3, 1981 Retired to run successfully for U.S. Senator from South Dakota
Rep. Moffett Toby Moffett
(born 1944)
Lebanese Democratic Connecticut January 3, 1975 January 3, 1983 Retired to run unsuccessfully for U.S. Senator from Connecticut
Rep. Benjamin Adam Benjamin
(1935–1982)
Assyrian Democratic Indiana January 3, 1977 September 7, 1982 Died in office
Rep. Oakar Mary Rose Oakar
(born 1940)
Lebanese,
Syrian
Democratic Ohio January 3, 1977 January 3, 1993 Lost reelection
Rep. Rahall Nick Rahall
(born 1949)
Lebanese Democratic West Virginia January 3, 1977 January 3, 2015 Lost reelection
Rep. Danner Pat Danner
(born 1934)
Lebanese Democratic Missouri January 3, 1993 January 3, 2001 Retired
Rep. Eshoo Anna Eshoo
(born 1942)
Assyrian Republican California January 3, 1993 present
Rep. Baldacci John Baldacci
(born 1955)
Lebanese Democratic Maine January 3, 1995 August 3, 2003 Retired to run successfully for Governor of Maine
Rep. LaHood Ray LaHood
(born 1945)
Lebanese Republican Illinois January 3, 1995 January 3, 2009 Retired to become U.S. Secretary of Transportation
Rep. John Chris John
(born 1960)
Lebanese Democratic Louisiana January 3, 1997 January 3, 2005 Retired to run unsuccessfully for U.S. Senator from Louisiana
Rep. Sununu John E. Sununu
(born 1964)
Palestinian,
Lebanese
Republican New Hampshire January 3, 1997 January 3, 2003 Retired to run successfully for U.S. Senator from New Hampshire
Rep. Issa Darrell Issa
(born 1953)
Lebanese Republican California January 3, 2001 present
Rep. Boustany Charles Boustany
(born 1956)
Lebanese Republican Louisiana January 3, 2005 January 3, 2017 Retired to run unsuccessfully for U.S. Senator from Louisiana
Rep. Amash Justin Amash
(born 1980)
Palestinian,
Syrian
Republican Michigan January 3, 2011 present
Rep. Hanna Richard L. Hanna
(born 1951)
Lebanese Republican New York January 3, 2011 January 3, 2017 Retired
Rep. Abraham Ralph Abraham
(born 1954)
Lebanese Republican Louisiana January 3, 2015 present
Rep. Graham Gwen Graham
(born 1963)
Lebanese Democratic Florida January 3, 2015 January 3, 2017 Retired
Rep. Graves Garret Graves
(born 1972)
Lebanese Republican Louisiana January 3, 2015 present
Rep. LaHood Darin LaHood
(born 1968)
Lebanese Republican Illinois September 10, 2015 present
Rep. Crist Charlie Crist
(born 1956)
Lebanese Democratic Florida January 3, 2017 present

References[edit]