Washington, DC | www.adc.org | January 19, 2012 -- The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) urges its members to support the campaign to protect the last remnants of what was once a small but vibrant Arab American neighborhood in New York City's Lower Manhattan from impending demolition.
In the 19th and early 20th centuries, "Little Syria" had been a hub for immigrants establishing their lives in America - Lebanese, Syrians, and other Arabs among them. A central place where peoples of all ethnic backgrounds came to engage in business, it was the first major Arab American neighborhood and is part of our collective story as Americans.
Today, only three buildings remain along Washington Street as relics of this cherished past: a tenement, a community center, and the former St. George’s Syrian Catholic Church. Todd Fine and Carl Antoun have dedicated themselves to the mission of ensuring that the piece of Arab American history told through the presence of these buildings is not erased. With St. George’s having been designated by the Landmarks Preservation Commission as a protected landmark in 2009, Fine and Antoun are spearheading an urgent and inspiring campaign to establish the same status for the other two buildings. To succeed, they need the help of the community.
Arab Americans have always been a part of the American story. This unique trio of buildings along Washington Street stands as an affirmation of this fact. ADC fully supports this vital campaign, and calls on the Arab American community to take action and help preserve our collective heritage.
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