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Aside from negative stigmas, the first generation of Syrian migrants also faced romantic stereotyping for their Christian origins.The migrant and writer Mary Amyuni described being advised to describe her home as "the Holy Land" to ease her integration into the United States: "hold up the rosaries and crosses first; say they are from the Holy Land because Americans are very religious." Immigrant writers often balanced an adopted culture with a home culture, such as in Ameen Rihani's 1911 "The Book of Khalid," which revolved around an imagined Arabic text inscribed with images of skyscrapers and pyramids.Syrian American peddlers served as the distribution medium for the products of small manufacturers.Syrian peddlers traded mostly in dry goods, primarily clothing.
Most, if not all, Alawi Syrians come from the rural areas of Latakia Governorate.There are also many Catholic Syrian Americans; most branches of Catholicism are of the Eastern rite, such as Maronite Catholics, Melkite Greek Catholics, Armenian Catholics, Syrian Catholics, and Assyrian Chaldean Catholics. There are also members of the Assyrian Church of the East and Ancient Church of the East.The first Syrian American church was founded in Brooklyn, New York in 1895 by Saint Raphael of Brooklyn.New York City has the highest concentration of Syrian Americans in the United States.Other urban areas, including Paterson, New Jersey, Boston, Dearborn, New Orleans, Toledo, Cedar Rapids, and Houston have large Syrian populations.