Anaheim's Little Arabia: Now an Official Tourist Attraction!

Little-Arabia.jpg

After months of courting local communities, politicians and convention officials, Little Arabia marked another milestone yesterday. The ethnic enclave of family-friendly Middle Eastern restaurants and markets mostly along Brookhurst Street in Anaheim is now recognized as a tourist attraction by the city and the Anaheim Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau. A profile of the district went live online on the latter's website making things official!

The vision began to take shape and initiative at a luncheon event where Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait visited with residents at Papa Hassan's Grill. The Weekly dubbed it the 'Shawarma Summit," helping set off a media blitz as countless profile pieces followed. Jay Burress, President and CEO of Anaheim Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau, left the summit impressed. "It really has so much potential," he said of Little Arabia at the time. "There's a million dollars every hour spent by visitors in Orange County. We need to make sure this area is getting its share as well."

Through a partnership with the Arab American Chamber of California, that aim is closer to becoming reality and it couldn't have come at a better time. Throngs of summer tourists are coming into Anaheim and its surrounding areas for treks to Disneyland. For those coming into the area from the Muslim world, Ramadan is also in full effect. What better way to break a religious fast at sunset while on vacation than with an epic iftar buffet in Little Arabia?

The District is a few miles west of the Anaheim resort, but plans are being made to connect the two. "There will be a future partnership with the Anaheim Resort Transportation (ART) and the Yellow Cab," says Rida Hamida, Executive Director of the Arab American Chamber of California. "We're actually going to get the tour bus into Brookhurst." Taxi cab drivers can talk up the grub spots and if passengers are intrigued by what they hear, they may direct their dining destination on over to Little Arabia District.

All the Weekly faves are featured from Kareem's Restaurant to Olive Tree. "The most important thing is to get an authentic flavor of Anaheim," Hamida says. "No matter who they are, where they come from, no one can complain about Arabic food! It brings people together."

Inshallah!

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30 comments
Fiorella M. Casella
Fiorella M. Casella

I hope this does not mean gentrification of the whole area ... please don't let the hipsters come out!

Cindy Lance
Cindy Lance

WTF... why do people come to our country intent on NOT assimilating to our country and instead form these mini factions of their homelands? We already have "little Saigon", now we need a Little Arabia, seriously people, if you don't like the American way, go back to where you came from if you think your motherland is so great!!!

Kelly Kemp
Kelly Kemp

There are so many great businesses in this neighborhood. It's a shame Anaheim has focused all of its funds on the resort area and neglected improvement of this corridor. I love my neighborhood, just not the drug addicts and taggers.

Jodd Mongkolkasetarin
Jodd Mongkolkasetarin

Thank You, Steve! For your liking towards Indian people, Cultures & India Community! Nice!!!

Steve Manciet
Steve Manciet

I would love little India, Indian people are the most friendly people around. There's a great little Indian store and cafe on El Toro road in Lake Forest.

Steve Manciet
Steve Manciet

Why can't people online be nice and respectful?

Bryan Davis
Bryan Davis

Hopefully this will be the beginning of a redo of this area and push a lot of the trash that's plagued this area for so long out of here!!

Luna Lovecraft
Luna Lovecraft

Brookhurst &orange area? Like by linbrook + In&out?

Monica Satcher
Monica Satcher

Not sure if it's the same area... but the protest happening at Ball & Brookhurst late Friday afternoon, was a concern for traffic.

slupin691
slupin691

You ma'am are a MORON. They do not have to "assimilate" and drop all of their culture and heritage when they come over here - we've never made that a requirement of living in the United States!? Who the hell said they "don't like the American Way?" I thought setting up a legitimate business, profiting from it and employing people for it was "the American Way."

sweetliberty17761776
sweetliberty17761776 topcommenter

its not the different cultures that are the problem


its the welfare state that gives the non ambitious the 


choice to start trouble


not included in that are the haters of western civilization 


AND YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE

fishwithoutbicycle
fishwithoutbicycle topcommenter

Fine, then I suppose the little town of Solvang in NorCal should close down since it is essentially a celebration of Scandinavian heritage? Give me a break.

fishwithoutbicycle
fishwithoutbicycle topcommenter

@sweetliberty17761776 

What do social welfare programs have to do with this? I'm pointing out that many enclaves of American society who celebrate cultures that don't have their roots in western europe are criticized by idiot xenophobes for "refusing to assimilate".

sweetliberty17761776
sweetliberty17761776 topcommenter

@fishwithoutbicycle @sweetliberty17761776


dont be so self centered


THINK!!


welfare is an evil disguised as love and care by haters who want forced used to "help" and another form of redistribution , yet again, by force


so while some might just hate others b/c they just want to hate 


those who hate those who come to this country with only our welfare system on their minds,



"justifies" the "hate" towards others



and since WE are all about loving our fellow good humans


lets eliminate some legit reasons to hate by eliminating the aforementioned 


evil that are the social programs



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