In the late 1880s, immigrants from present-day Syria and Lebanon, all of whom were then known as Syrians, began moving to Boston’s South End. This was part of the first major wave of migration from the Ottoman Empire to the Americas. “Little Syrias” cropped up from New York to Havana and Rio de Janeiro and within thirty years, most properties in Boston’s Arab neighborhood were owned by families with names like Haddad, Shibley, Homsy, and Hadge. Nearly all were Christian (Maronite, Melkite, or Orthodox), and most came from the corridor between Damascus and Zahle, a region pummeled by the collapse of the silk industry, war, and famine. Members of this community fought for the U.S. army in the two world wars and debated politics in Fatat Boston and al-Wafa’, local Arabic newspapers. They established churches like St. John of Damascus and Our Lady of the Cedars, and founded charities such as the Lebanese Syrian Ladies’ Aid Society of Boston. And they lobbied against—or navigated through—the United States’ racist and exclusionary immigration policies.