Tucked into strip malls just a few miles west of Disneyland along Brookhurst Street is the scattered agglomeration of restaurants, markets, bakeries, butcher shops, hookah lounges, educational centers, hair salons, and clothing stores catering to groups who come from the Middle East and North Africa. Proliferating over the last twenty years, this Anaheim thoroughfare is colloquially known as Little Arabia, Arab Village, and Arabheim. While lacking official designation by the city, the small strip of commerce operating in-between gentlemen clubs, chain grocery stores, and fast food joints is supported by the nation’s largest Arab population who haphazardly reside throughout Greater Los Angeles. Examinations of Little Arabia not only reveals how migration and displacement influences urban and social landscapes, but necessarily raises questions concerning the meanings of twenty-first century ethnoburbs, as well as the consequences stemming from labels used to describe them.
photos by noah allison