Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 42 passed the California State Senate today with unanimous support. SCR 42 commemorates the month of April as “Arab American Heritage Month” in California, and recognizes the important contributions of Arab Americans to our state.
“SCR 42 is part of a broader effort toward creating awareness and paying respect to the approximately 800,000 Arab American Californians, while celebrating their achievements and highlighting their commitment and contributions to a peaceful and diverse society, by recognizing the month of April as Arab American Heritage Month,” said the resolution’s author, Senator Josh Newman.
For well over a century, Arab Americans have been making valuable contributions to virtually every aspect of American society, to include leadership and groundbreaking contributions in medicine, law, business, technology, government, and culture.
Senate District 29, which Newman represents, has the highest concentration of Arab Americans in the state, in a region called “Little Arabia”. The State of California boasts the largest population of Arab Americans in the Country, with a population of approximately 800,000.
Senator Josh Newman represents the 29th Senate District, which includes cities across Orange, Los Angeles, and San Bernardino Counties.
International Women's Day is a time to celebrate the accomplishment of women locally and worldwide. On this day, we encourage everyone to support women business-owners in our communities here Little Arabia District.
Arab American women in particular deserve our respect and attention today for the massive milestones they’ve reached and better community they’ve built for all.
This list in no way suggests they’re the best of the best. However, these “specials” were chosen either because they’re outstanding, unique or because they’re underrated.
Sayadiyeh at Olive Tree Restaurant
Many of us can’t wait for Thursdays (or Saturdays) for this fried fish special at Olive Tree known in Arabic as Sayadiyeh. It contains brown rice mixed with 22 different spices, cooked with fillet fish and served with a huge flavored tilapia fish that’s deep fried to perfection! Once you’re done eating, don’t forget to say “Teslam Edeik” to Abu Ahmad. Literally means “may your hands be protected.”
Musakhan at El Mahroosa Cafe
Loyal fans of Little Arabia have known or heard of Chef Um Alaa (the mother of Alaa) long before El Mahroosa was open. Any of you who tried her cooking knows that Musakhan isn’t the only dish you must try, but it does stand out because, arguably, no one seems to perfect it the way she does at El Mahroosa Cafe. Musakhan is a Palestinian dish composed of roasted chicken baked with onions, sumac, allspice, saffron, and fried pine nuts served over taboon bread.
Beef in Cherry Sauce at Aleppo’s Kitchen
It’s really difficult to pinpoint what exactly stands out at Aleppo’s Kitchen, because too many items in their menu aren’t served elsewhere. Not too many foodies know about the grilled beef balls with homemade cherry sauce and it’s definitely worth a try. However, make sure you call an hour in advance, because it’ll take an hour to prepare it.
Stuffed Zucchini and Grape leaves at Alwadee Bakery & Restaurant
Everyone loves stuffed zucchini and grape leaves and the ones done by the awesome ladies at Alwadee Restaurant are no less mouthwatering than your typical Arab mom’s “wara’ enab and mahshi.” Typically the zucchini and grape leaves are stuffed with rice and meat, and olive oil is used to moisten wraps. Available every Saturday.
Methlootha at Arabisc Restaurant
lMost Arabs haven’t even heard of Methlootha, a tasty dish popular in the Najd region of Saudi Arabia. Like most Saudi dishes, Methlootha contains rice and lamb, but what’s different about it is that it’s made of three layers: bread, oats, then rice and lamb (or chicken) and garnished with caramelized onions. Keep in mind that the Chef at Arabisc Restaurant has more than a decade of experience cooking at the Saudi Royal Court.
Aleppo’s Kitchen – one of the most elegant spots in Little Arabia District, known for offering nine types of Syrian Kibbeh, made it recently to OC Weekly’s top 100 favorite dishes in Orange County. At number 15 on the list, Dave Lieberman wrote the following about Kibbeh:
Congratulations, Aleppo’s Kitchen!
City of Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait recognized Little Arabia District-based business owner Asem Abusir on Tuesday, April 14, 2015, for his success as the owner of Knafeh Cafe, a pastry shop known for preparing and serving the traditional 'Nabulsian' Knafeh.
The certificate reads:
Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait hereby recognizes Asem Abusir for your success as the owner of Knafeh Cafe, and master the artistry of making Knafeh, a delicious Arabic dessert which is a Middle Eastern tradition served at weddings, engagements, graduations, and other celebrations, bringing the original recipe inherited from your forefathers to Southern California and the City of Anaheim and for being well known as the business owner of a very friendly and welcoming family run business, and Mayor Tait hereby extends his sincere best wishes for continued success in the years ahead, this 14th day of April, 2015.