Circassians in the United States
Америкэм ис Адыгэхэр
Circassian Americans
Total population
25,000[1][better source needed]
Regions with significant populations
Upstate New York, New Jersey, California
East Circassian
West Circassian
Primarily Islam
Also Christianity and Circassian paganism
Related ethnic groups
Other Circassians

Circassian Americans (Adyghe: Америкэм ис Адыгэхэр, romanized: Amerikəm yis Adıgəxər) are Americans of ethnic Circassian origin. The term "Circassian Americans" can refer to ethnic Circassian immigrants to the United States, as well as their American-born descendants. Most trace their roots to Circassians in Syria and Circassians in Turkey, however, there are also those who descend from Circassians in Jordan and other areas of the Circassian diaspora. They mostly live in Upstate New York, California, and New Jersey and number around 25,000.[1][better source needed] There is also a Circassian community in Canada.


Circassians in the United States all share their common ancestry in Circassia. However, there has been different waves of migrations originating from different regions. There are Circassians in the United States who originate from Turkish Circassians, while some originate from Jordanian Circassians or Syrian Circassians. There are also those whose ancestors directly migrated to the U.S. after the Circassian genocide.

Ottoman Circassians arrive in the U.S.

Before the end of the Russo-Circassian War in 1864, a mass deportation was launched against the remaining population who survived the Circassian genocide.[2] Calculations including those taking into account the Russian imperial government's own archival figures have estimated a loss of 95–97%[3][4][5][6] of the Circassian nation in the process. The displaced people were settled primarily to the Ottoman Empire.[7]

Circassians who were exiled to Ottoman lands initially suffered heavy tolls. Ottoman archives show nearly 1 million migrants entering their land from the Caucasus by 1879, with nearly half of them dying on the shores as a result of diseases.[8] If Ottoman archives are correct, it would make it the biggest exile of the 19th century.[9] The Circassians were initially housed in schools and mosques or had to live in caves until their resettlement. The Ottoman authorities assigned lands for Circassian settlers close to regular water sources and grain fields. Numerous died in transit to their new homes from disease and poor conditions.[10] As such, many sought new homes.

Significant waves of Ottoman immigration to the United States began during the period between 1820 and 1920.[11] About 300,000 people immigrated from the Ottoman Empire to the United States, and part of them were Circassian. Many Muslim Circassians, who had survived the Circassian genocide perpetrated by the Christian Russian Empire, just like other Muslims, feared that they would not be accepted in a Christian country and would be discriminated against. This resulted in them hiding their Islamic faith (Taqiyya) and pretending to be Christian at the port of entry to gain easy access to the United States;[12][13] moreover, many declared themselves as "Armenians" to avoid discrimination.[14]

Middle Eastern Circassians arrive in the U.S.

Other Circassians in the Middle East, like in Syria and Jordan, were motivated to pursue the American Dream of economic success.[15] Immigrants returning after making money in the United States inspired further waves of immigrants. Many settlers also sent for their relatives. The Jordanian and Syrian Circassian communities in the U.S. grew even larger after the Six-Day War of 1967.

Notable individuals


  1. ^ a b "Adyghe by country". Archived from the original on October 21, 2013. Retrieved April 8, 2013.
  2. ^ Kazemzadeh 1974
  3. ^ Richmond, Walter (April 9, 2013). The Circassian Genocide. Rutgers University Press. p. 132. ISBN 978-0-8135-6069-4. If we assume that Berzhe's middle figure of 50,000 was close to the number who survived to settle in the lowlands, then between 95 percent and 97 percent of all Circassians were killed outright, died during Evdokimov's campaign, or were deported.
  4. ^ Rosser-Owen, Sarah A.S. Isla. The First 'Circassian Exodus' to the Ottoman Empire (1858–1867), and the Ottoman Response, Based on the Accounts of Contemporary British Observers (Thesis). p. 16. with one estimate showing that the indigenous population of the entire north-western Caucasus was reduced by a massive 94 percent Text of citation: "The estimates of Russian historian Narochnitskii, in Richmond, ch. 4, p. 5. Stephen Shenfield notes a similar rate of reduction with less than 10 percent of the Circassians (including the Abkhazians) remaining. (Stephen Shenfield, "The Circassians: A Forgotten Genocide?", in The Massacre in History, p. 154.)"
  5. ^ "145th Anniversary of the Circassian Genocide and the Sochi Olympics Issue". Reuters. May 22, 2009. Archived from the original on September 8, 2012. Retrieved November 28, 2009.
  6. ^ Barry, Ellen (May 20, 2011). "Georgia Says Russia Committed Genocide in 19th Century". The New York Times.
  7. ^ Richmond, Walter (2013). The Circassian Genocide. Rutgers University Press. back cover. ISBN 978-0-8135-6069-4.
  8. ^ Neumann, Karl Friedrich Russland und die Tscherkessen, 1840
  9. ^ Leitzinger, Antero. "The Circassian Genocide". The Eurasian Politician, Issue 2 (October 2000), Available at Archived April 9, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, retrieved on March 11, 2007
  10. ^ Rogan 1999, p. 73.
  11. ^ Kaya 2004, 296.
  12. ^ Karpat 2004, 614.
  13. ^ Akcapar 2009, 167.
  14. ^ Karpat 2004, 615.
  15. ^ Samovar & Porter (1994), p. 83
  16. ^ "İşte Dr. Öz'ün Çerkez Güzeli | GAZETE VATAN". Retrieved April 27, 2021.
  17. ^ "Mehmet C. Oz, MD, FACS". Columbia University Department of Surgery. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved April 6, 2019.
  18. ^ Afsaruddin, Asma (2015). "Is Islam incompatible with modernity?". The Conversation. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  19. ^ "The Sufi Science of Time". Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi Society. 2020. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  20. ^ Juneau, Jen. "Daphne Oz Shares Her Hearty 'Go-To Breakfast' — and the 'Only Rule at Mealtime' for Her Kids". People. People. Retrieved February 23, 2021.
  21. ^ "The insidious Islamophobia I experience as a white, blond Muslim — and how I combat it". NBC News.
  22. ^ JT (May 21, 2017). "8-year-old Jordanian Emanne Beasha wins Arabs Got Talent". The Jordan Times.
  23. ^ Dixon, Marcus James (September 10, 2019). "Angelic Emanne Beasha just gave 'America's Got Talent' viewers the Bryan Adams cover we didn't know we needed [WATCH]". Gold Derby.
  24. ^ Hamer, Sian (September 12, 2019). "10-year-old Emanne Beasha makes the America's Got Talent finals after Simon Cowell casts the deciding vote". Classic FM.

Works cited