The city of Anaheim has officially recognized a populous borough known for its Arab-American residents and businesses as “Little Arabia.”

The Anaheim City Council voted on Tuesday to designate a portion of the Brookhurst Corridor between West Broadway and Ball Road as Little Arabia. It’s believed to be the first formally recognized Arab-American district in the country, according to Voice of OC.

The motion passed 5-0 with Mayor Pro Tem Trevor O’Neil abstaining from the vote.

Rashad Al-Dabbagh, executive director of the Arab American Civic Council, called the formal designation a “historic moment” for the community.

“Over the years, Arab Americans have transformed Brookhurst Street into a thriving cultural and business destination,” Al-Dabbagh said in a news release. “Our contributions to the city of Anaheim are finally being recognized with a formal designation of Little Arabia.”

The Arab American Civic Council also announced that the City Council voted to conduct a study of the area to research district options, including the possible designation as a Cultural District, which would provide resources to help the area obtain funding for improvements and other projects.

The Civic Council said the efforts to have the neighborhood officially recognized has been ongoing for decades. The area became a hotbed for Arab-American culture and business in the 1990s, and residents have urged for official recognition from the city for quite some time.

Amin Nash, a research fellow with the Arab American Civic Council, said the decision signaled Anaheim’s acceptance and appreciation of the contributions of Arab Americans and “the broader Southwest Asian, Middle Eastern, and North African communities.”

“This is a community that has felt ‘visibly invisible’ for a very long time. Now, Anaheim is saying they see the community, and are giving the community a place to showcase their humanity,” Nash said, adding a sense of appreciation for the city officials who supported the effort.

The organization’s executive director said he hopes this is just the “beginning of a partnership with the City of Anaheim to work together on expanding and improving Little Arabia.”

For more about the Arab American Civic Council, click here.