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Little Syria

Reconstructing New York's Syrian Colony, Person by Person: Strangers in the West by Linda Jacobs

Todd Fine | Posted 09.28.2015 | New York
Todd Fine

In recent years, there has been a significant growth of interest in the Syrian Colony of the Lower West Side of Manhattan, frequently also called "Little Syria." This classic multiethnic neighborhood had a dominant Arabic-speaking influence from the 1880s to 1940s, and it served as the "Mother Colony" for the substantial Syrian and Lebanese immigration to the United States.

Joseph Svehlak's Advocacy for 'Little Syria' and Washington Street

Todd Fine | Posted 04.28.2015 | New York
Todd Fine

The only check against the rapid dismantling of New York's heritage is a small group of mostly volunteer activists who monitor the activities of the Commission and the status of various historic properties across the city. One core activist, Joseph Svehlak, is a indefatigable force who has maintained awareness of NYC's vibrant history.

"Little Syria" Shadows St. Nicholas Shrine at the World Trade Center

Todd Fine | Posted 12.22.2014 | New York
Todd Fine

Admirers of the history of this part of New York City should celebrate the impulse to rebuild St. Nicholas, which may help establish a sense of community in Downtown Manhattan and offer a needed connection to the past.

Malek Jandali: "The Voice of the Free Syrian Children" Speaks in New York

Todd Fine | Posted 12.19.2013 | New York
Todd Fine

"I believe that everyone has the tools to help, but each person's tools are different. Mine happen to be music and art, and I feel very blessed and humbled to have the opportunity to use my music to help the children of Syria in this way."

Özge Dogan's Documentary, The Sacred, Reveals Sense of Loss in New York's "Little Syria"

Todd Fine | Posted 09.29.2013 | Arts
Todd Fine

Inspired by the efforts of the "Friends of the Lower West Side" and the Save Washington Street coalition to protect the last traces of Manhattan's Little Syria neighborhood, Turkish director Özge Dogan completed an extraordinary documentary film called The Sacred in 2012.

Washington Street Plaza in 'Little Syria' Should Be Opportunity for New York

Todd Fine | Posted 07.20.2013 | New York
Todd Fine

New Yorkers can be mocked for making sport of being confrontational and protective about the handful of blocks that make up their little worlds, but the issues involving the 9/11 Memorial and "Little Syria" are too solemn and weighty to be handled in a closed and secretive way.

'Little Syria' Exhibit Opens at Arab American National Museum

Todd Fine | Posted 02.06.2013 | Arts
Todd Fine

The Arab American National Museum inaugurated an exhibit on a fascinating topic that forms the foundation of Arab-American history: the Little Syria neighborhood of Lower Manhattan.

Congress Should Pass Resolution Celebrating Arab-American Literature

Todd Fine | Posted 11.25.2012 | Politics
Todd Fine

The recent Sikh massacre revealed the dangers for ethnic groups whose cultural stories are not adequately communicated in American society, and the United States urgently needs to communicate alternative cultural narratives in the Arab world, while it internalizes their meanings and implications on policy.

New Report Supports the Protection of 'Little Syria' in Lower Manhattan

Todd Fine | Posted 11.10.2012 | New York
Todd Fine

The majority of Arab-Americans are sadly unaware that Washington Street represents the beginnings of their heritage in the United States, a vibrant home for flows of Lebanese, Syrians, and Palestinians starting in the 1870s.