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“Little Syria, NY: An Immigrant Community’s Life and Legacy” Exhibit Opening Reception and Lecture

Date: 10/24/2013

Time: 4:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Location: 120 Elmer L. Andersen Library

Cost: Free


Please join us in attending a reception celebrating the opening of the “Little Syria, NY: An Immigrant Community’s Life and Legacy” exhibit on display October 10 – January 15 in the Elmer L. Andersen Library exhibit galleries, in conjunction with the Arab American History and Culture Symposium being held on October 25, 2013.

Reception and opening ceremony, Thursday, October 24, 2013 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
4:00 p.m. - Remarks in 120 Andersen Library with a keynote address by Devon Akmon, Director of the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, Michigan
5:30 p.m. - Reception with light hors d'oeuvres to celebrate the opening of the Arab American History and Culture Symposium which will continue on October 25. For information about the symposium, please see the event listing.

 “Little Syria, NY: An Immigrant Community’s Life and Legacy” is a visual story of the Arab immigrants who began to settle on Washington Street in lower Manhattan in the late 1800s. Their entrepreneurial spirit transformed the neighborhood, known as Little Syria, into a thriving community lined with shops, restaurants and coffeehouses - each furnished with signs written in their native Arabic. Here Arab Americans raised their families, educated their children, worshipped in churches and mosques and gradually 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.



  • Name: Immigration History Research Center
  • E-mail: ihrc@umn.edu
  • Sponsored by: Religious Studies, Immigration History Research Center, Immigration History Research Center Archives, Friends of the Libraries, University Libraries, Global Studies, Arab American National Museum, Mizna, English, Philosophy

Disability Options:

To request disability accommodations, please contact the Immigration History Research Center at 612-625-4800.

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