The Arab business community in Atlanta has suffered from a lack of cohesive organization in recent years and would certainly benefit from a chamber of commerce or similar association, Samir Makhlouf, an Atlanta businessman active in the city’s Arab community, told GlobalFax.  

Mr. Makhlouf, an inventor and innovation management consultant of Palestinian heritage, moderated a panel discussion on the Arab-American economic market in Atlanta, April 18, at a Georgia State University symposium entitled “The Arabs: An American Story.”

There are many successful Arabs in Atlanta, he pointed out during the discussion. The lack of an established business community stems from their preference to “work quietly as individuals,” wary of the negative stereotypes often afforded them by the U.S. media, he maintained.

Several groups, however, are now paving the way for a greater Arab presence in Atlanta, both economically and culturally, including the newly-established Atlanta chapter of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) and the Arab American Women’s Society of Georgia (AAWSG).

Atlanta, added Mr. Makhlouf, is currently home to approximately 38,000 Arab families hailing from a number of diverse cultural, religious and geographic backgrounds.

For more information about Atlanta’s Arab community, visit the Alif Institute Web site at or send an e-mail to For information about the Georgia State program, contact Dona Stewart at