Former "Little Syria" resident in the old neighbourhood
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Preserving New York City's 'Little Syria'

7 February 2012 Last updated at 22:16 GMT

The three old buildings on one stretch of New York City's Washington Street may not seem like much, but they are all that remains of a largely forgotten community.

One hundred years ago this was the neighbourhood known as "Little Syria", the early centre of Arab life in the United States.

Immigrants arrived from the Middle East and stayed on Washington Street for decades until urban expansion forced many to other parts of the city.

Now a group of New Yorkers is working to preserve the remnants of Little Syria, but two of the buildings have an uncertain fate.

Produced by the BBC's Jane O'Brien and David Botti