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Little Syria Events

January 20, 2017 – March 24, 2017
Monday to Friday: 9am-10pm
Saturdays: 9am-3pm
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Little Syria

In the late 1800s, Arab immigrants began to settle on Washington Street in lower Manhattan. Their entrepreneurial spirit transformed the neighborhood, known as Little Syria, into a thriving community with signs written in their native Arabic. Here Arab Americans raised their families, educated their children, built religious institutions and became part of the life of New York.

Although razed in the 1940s to make way for the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, contributions of the community’s notable residents remain relevant. Among them, world-renowned author/artist Kahlil Gibran, Ameen Rihani, founding father of Arab American literature, and Al-Hoda publishers Naoum and Salloum Mokarzel whose work revolutionized journalism in the Arab World. This exhibition documents these stories and more, recognizing Little Syria’s contribution to the great city of New York and providing historical context to some of today’s pressing issues.

MCNY will be hosting the exhibit which was researched, developed and produced by the Arab American National Museum and made possible in part by the Ford Foundation and the Arab American Community of New York.



Little Syria Event 3 Thursdays | March 2, 9, 16, 23 | 5:00pm - 6:00pm Neighborhood Walking Tours
View the Little Syria Exhibit with The Friends of the Lower West Side/Washington Street Historical Society and then take a tour of the remaining buildings and significant sites of this once vibrant multi-ethnic immigrant neighborhood. On our walk we will view the former St. George Syrian Melkite Church, the Downtown Community House, the few surviving A tenements and Federal style townhouses, and the proposed memorial plaza.
Friends of the Lower West Side
Washington Street Historical Society
Little Syria Event 5 March 21, 2017 | 6:00pm - 7:30 pm Downtown’s Lost Neighborhood
With Linda Jacobs, author of "Strangers in the West"; Todd Fine, Rihani scholar and director of the Washington Street Historical Society; and preservationist Joe Svehlak of the Friends of the Lower West Side. They will be discussing the multi layered immigrant history of Manhattan's Lower West Side and the struggle to preserve its memory.
Friends of the Lower West Side
Washington Street Historical Society
Little Syria Event 6 March 23, 2017 | 6:00pm - 7:30pm Women's Influence in Little Syria
Scholar Elizabeth Saylor discusses 'Afifa Karam (1883-1924), a Lebanese-American immigrant writer, journalist, and translator and important contributor to the the Arabic cultural renaissance of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. An early voice calling attention to the situation of Arab women, Karam was a pivotal figure in the nascent women's movement in the Arab world. MCNY Professor Dr. Vanda Wark leads a conversation with Saylor about the early women's movement and the important role women played in early Arab-American culture.

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