Besides Indians and West Indians, a number of middle-eastern communities have also made Belize their home starting around the turn of twentieth century. This was after these people had fled Lebanon due to the fall of the Ottoman empire in 1919. The second wave was comprised of people of Palestinian extraction who arrived in Belize after the Balfour declaration. Another set Middle Eastern immigrants arrived in Belize via Merida in the 1930s. There were also Turkish nationals who came to Belize as traders. A small community of Jewish people also resided in Belize. This very small community was involved in the retailing of household goods.
The original occupation of most middle-eastern people in Belize was in trade. These groups pioneered a system of bartering or buying goods in one part of the country then taking these goods for sale to other parts of the country. This system was developed and a number of the traders such as Escandar Bedran and Wahib Habet became wealthy from this type of trade.
Extraction of cedar, mahogany and pine was an industry in which middle eastern peoples also became involved. Attention was also paid to rearing of cattle. Citrus culture at Cool Shade in the Cayo district was also pioneered by a prominent middle-eastern businessman.