Navigation Menu

History

Little Arabia – Anaheim is an ethnic enclave in Orange County, California, United States, the center for Orange County’s Arab-Americans, who number more than 24,000 (as of 2000). It is sometimes referred to as “Little Gaza” which was a play on the original designation of this area as the “Garza Island.”

According to the OC Weekly, prior to the arrival of Arab merchants and families, the section of West Anaheim was popularly known as the Gaza Strip because of an unincorporated area called Garza Island.

���Rising from agricultural fields in the 1950s post-World War II building boom, the Gaza Strip hosted a collection of dive bars, restaurants, and mom-and-pop stores on the main streets, with tract housing and apartments in the neighborhoods giving it a distinctly working-class feel. The area’s most famous business is Linbrook Bowl, a legendary bowling alley that Huell Howser has profiled and whose Googie-style sign, complete with rotating pin, still lights up every night.

“But by the 1980s, white flight left the Gaza Strip mostly abandoned or replaced with seedy businesses.”

Little Arabia grew significantly in the 1990s with the arrival of immigrants from the Middle East, and is the home thousands of Arab-Americans predominantly hailing from Egypt, Syria and Palestine.  Local Arab American business leaders  began buying distressed homes and selling them to Arab immigrants. They also bought plazas, office buildings, and  recruited merchants to start up news businesses in West Anaheim.



Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Instagram