They call it Little Palestine


Once you hit the pavement south of 80th Street in south suburban Bridgeview, Middle Eastern bakeries, grocery stores and specialty fashion shops – along with business signs in Arabic – become commonplace. Near 87th Street and Harlem Avenue are the popular Al Bawadi Grill and a strip mall with Arab American-owned businesses ranging from a nut shop to a hookah lounge. But the community is more than businesses. Arab American families moving from both the city and Middle East have put down roots in Bridgeview and neighboring suburbs, establishing community centers and churches and making it one of the largest Arab American and Palestinian communities in the United States.

Asraa Mustufa contributed reporting to this photo gallery.