Arab-American scholar Alixa Naff dies at 93

AP News
Posted: Jun 05, 2013 4:15 PM

MITCHELLVILLE, Md. (AP) — Alixa Naff, an early and pioneering historian who documented the lives of the first wave of Arab-American immigrants at the turn of the century, has died. She was 93.

Naff died Saturday at her home in Mitchellville after a brief illness, according to two friends who were with her the day she died.

Naff, who immigrated from what is now Lebanon when she was a toddler, is perhaps best known for a collection of oral histories and artifacts that she donated to the Smithsonian and which is still available for scholarly research at the National Museum of American History.

Friends say Naff traveled the country in a blue Volkswagen Beetle nicknamed "the camel," to collect histories and relevant artifacts.

Her work documented the diversity in a community that was often overlooked by scholars.