The Arab American Civic Council in partnership with Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait’s “Hi Neighbor” initiative, a neighborhood outreach campaign, hosted a community summit titled ‘A Taste of Anaheim’ on Wednesday to facilitate meaningful relationships and build bridges between various west Anaheim community groups and local Arab American community leaders. The event was held at Papa Hassan’s Grill in the area widely known as the Little Arabia district of Anaheim.
SEE: Anaheim “Shawarma” Summit Marks New Era for Little Arabia – OC Weekly
The summit took place only a week after Mayor Tait encouraged residents to visit Little Arabia during the annual State of the City address following a strategic outreach plan by the Arab American Civic Council.
“We all know that Anaheim has some of the most authentic and diverse neighborhoods in the state. Our city is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the U.S. Take for example, Brookhurst Street, or as the locals refer to it, Little Arabia,” said Mayor Tait during his speech. “Home to halal butcher shops, restaurants, beauty salons, travel agencies, bakeries and more, this neighborhood is really a cultural destination in our city. Whether you are stopping by Olive Tree for delicious lamb or picking up some baklava at Papa Hassan’s, Little Arabia gives visitors a different experience than a typical convention city.”
The invited stakeholders shared their vision of the future of West Anaheim and established partnerships in order to promote community/economic development for the local residents and businesses. Among the participants were representatives from the Offices of Rep. Loretta Sanchez, Sen. Lou Correa, Assm. Sharon Quirk-Sliva, and Sup. Shawn Nelson, as well as longstanding Chairwoman of West Anaheim Neighborhood Development Council (WAND), the CEO of the Anaheim Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau, and the Director of Access California Services.
“Little Arabia has the potential to become one of the most popular cultural and tourist destinations in Anaheim due to its organic and culturally hospitable restaurants, shopping charm and media attention generated in the last fifteen years. In order for this ambitious project to be implemented effectively, we need a majority of the stakeholders at the table to decide and agree on this path of development,” said Rida Hamida, co-founder of the Arab American Civic Council. “It’s about the community at large; if the City and Convention Bureau participate in redirecting the tourists to eat and shop in Little Arabia, it would lead to enhancing the lives and well-being of the people that reside and work there by addressing their concerns.”
PHOTOS: A Taste of Anaheim with Special Guest Mayor Tom Tait