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News, Events & Calendars

Little Syria Events

January 20, 2017 – March 24, 2017
Monday to Friday: 9am-10pm
Saturdays: 9am-3pm
Little Syria Logo

Little Syria

In the late 1800s, Arab immigrants began to settle on Washington Street in lower Manhattan. Their entrepreneurial spirit transformed the neighborhood, known as Little Syria, into a thriving community with signs written in their native Arabic. Here Arab Americans raised their families, educated their children, built religious institutions and 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.

MCNY will be hosting the exhibit which was researched, developed and produced by the Arab American National Museum and made possible in part by the Ford Foundation and the Arab American Community of New York.

AANM Logo

Events

Little Syria Event 1 January 19, 2017 | 6:00pm - 8:00pm Exhibition Opening Reception
Join us for a sneak peek at the exhibit the evening before opening. Reception featuring an illustrated talk by Linda K. Jacobs, author of Strangers in the West: The Syrian Colony of New York City, 1880-1900. In this illustrated lecture, Ms. Jacobs tells the never-before-told story of the Arab immigrants who first came to New York City in 1880. The Syrians were an important thread in the rich tapestry of immigrant culture of the 19th century New York, and the author, whose four grandparents were members of the colony, tells their story. Linda K. Jacobs holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Archaeology/Anthropology and spent many years working on archaeological excavations and economic development projects in the Middle East.

RSVP here
Little Syria Event 2 February 8, 2017 | 7:00pm - 8:00pm Art Exhibition Opening Reception
Rashwan Abdelbaki is a Syrian-born multi-medium artist specialising in ‎painting, etching, ‎and engraving. Rashwan is currently on Fellowship through the Institute for International Education’s Artist Protection Fund, and is being hosted from January-September 2017 in New York City by ArteEast. His exhibit will be on display at MCNY through April 22nd. Join us for an opening reception with the artist and view these gorgeous works of painting and etching.
Arte-East
Little Syria Event 3 Thursdays | March 2, 9, 16, 23 | 5:00pm - 6:00pm Neighborhood Walking Tours
View the Little Syria Exhibit with The Friends of the Lower West Side/Washington Street Historical Society and then take a tour of the remaining buildings and significant sites of this once vibrant multi-ethnic immigrant neighborhood. On our walk we will view the former St. George Syrian Melkite Church, the Downtown Community House, the few surviving A tenements and Federal style townhouses, and the proposed memorial plaza.
Friends of the Lower West Side
Washington Street Historical Society
Little Syria Event 4 March 2, 2017 | 7:00pm - 8:00pm Artist Talk: Rashwan Abdelbaki
Syrian-born artist Rashwan Abdelbaki graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts of Damascus University, in 2007, with a Bachelor’s degree in printmaking techniques. Since graduating, he has been featured in several solo and group exhibitions in Lebanon and Syria where his talent has been widely acclaimed. With the outbreak of the war in Syria and the economic and security situation worsening, Rashwan was forced to leave Syria, shuttling between Dubai, Beirut, and Damascus for years before settling, tenuously, in Beirut in 2014.
Arte-East
Little Syria Event 5 March 21, 2017 | 6:00pm - 7:30 pm Downtown’s Lost Neighborhood
With Linda Jacobs, author of "Strangers in the West"; Todd Fine, Rihani scholar and director of the Washington Street Historical Society; and preservationist Joe Svehlak of the Friends of the Lower West Side. They will be discussing the multi layered immigrant history of Manhattan's Lower West Side and the struggle to preserve its memory.
Friends of the Lower West Side
Washington Street Historical Society

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