Little Gaza

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This article is about Little Arabia in southern California, previously known as the Little Gaza Strip, which later became Little Gaza and ultimately Little Arabia. For Little Gaza in Brooklyn, see Little Gaza, New York City.

Little Gaza is an ethnic enclave in Orange County, California, United States,[1] the center for Orange County's Arab-Americans, who numbered more than 24,000 in 2000.[2] It is sometimes referred to as "Little Gaza" which was a play on the original designation of this area as the "Little Gaza Strip." [3][4] Little Arabia grew significantly in the 1990s with the arrival of immigrants from the Middle East, and is the home thousands of Arab-Americans; primarily of Egyptian, Lebanese, Palestinian, and Syrian descent.[5]

Little Gaza is centered on Brookhurst Street in Anaheim between La Palma Avenue and Katella Avenue.[6] Businesses include halal butcher shops, beauty salons, jewelry stores, travel agencies, bakeries,[7] Arab, Armenian,[8] and hookah cafes.[4][9][10] There are also numerous mosques and a few churches in the enclave.

The City of Anaheim, California made national news in 2005 when it banned belly dancing in Little Arabia's hookah bars.[11]


  1. ^ Brown, Aldrin (25 October 2001) "Anaheim's Muslim community sees spike suspected hate crimes" The Orange County Register p. 1
  2. ^ Flaccus, Gillian (10 October 2006) "Anaheim city council race heats up as GOP leader accuses candidate of pro-Hezbollah activities" from The Associated Press
  3. ^ Associated Press (13 September 2004) "News briefs from around Southern California: Anaheim City Officials are Investigating Complaints"
  4. ^ a b Arellano, Gustavo (2 November 2006) "Grub Guide" OC Weekly (Anaheim, CA)
  5. ^ Carter, Chelsea J. (16 March 2002) "Arabs, Jews in U.S. express frustration over conflict" The New Mexican (Santa Fe, NM) p. D-1, D-3, from The Associated Press
  6. ^ Staff (15 March 2004) "Muslim Americans rallying to vote in 2004 election" Chronicle Telegram (Elyria, Ohio) p. B-4 from The Orange County Register
  7. ^ E.g., Sarkis Pastry,
  8. ^ E.g., Zankou Chicken,
  9. ^ Jolly, Vic (21 February 1999) "Little Gaza Community Thrives as Arabic-American Mecca" The Seattle Times p. A-7, from The Orange County Register
  10. ^ Arellano, Gustavo (22 October 2004) "The Best Little Gaza Businesses, According to Mike and Nancy Hawari, Owners of Kareem Restaurant and Makers of the Finest Falafels on the Planet" OC Weekly (Anaheim, CA) p. 80
  11. ^ Flaccus, Gillian (27 October 2005) "City cites noise, drugs in regulating hookah bars" Journal-Tribune (Marysville, Ohio) p. 6B, from The Associated Press