Quest for ‘Little Ethiopia’ cultural district in Las Vegas closer to becoming a reality

Published: May. 30, 2023 at 8:49 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Southern Nevada is slowly becoming home to one of the largest Ethiopian and Eritrean communities in the United States, with more than 40,000 people calling Clark County home.

There are now dozens of businesses in the central valley, and local leaders have been working to create the county’s first official culture district, “Little Ethiopia.” Many of those Ethiopian-owned businesses can be found at the intersection of Flamingo Road and S. Decatur Boulevard.

“Once you start eating Ethiopian food, once you try it, you will love it.” Woldu Tereda, co-owner of Lucy Ethiopian Restaurant said.

Tereda, a native Ethiopian, became one of the owners nearly 10 years ago.

The restaurant was named after Lucy, a 3.2 million-year-old skeleton of a human ancestor that was discovered in Ethiopia in the late 1970′s. It’s a symbol of their country which they take great pride in.

“Other Ethiopians and Eritreans from different states, they come to Vegas, the first thing they do is Google ‘Ethiopian restaurants,’ they find this one and also there is more restaurants, so we are getting a lot of tourists nowadays,” Tereda said.

The Clark County Commission recently voted to draft an ordinance that would create “Little Ethiopia” in the areas between West Twain Avenue, University Avenue and parts of South Decatur Boulevard.

Girma Zaid, a local community advocate, has been leading the project since 2019. He says it’s time for the community to be recognized for its contributions to the county and the state.

“This is the epicenter for culture and diversity, we are very diversified. Diversity is a virtue in my opinion, and we would like to share our culture. Ethiopians have 3,000 years of history,” Zaid said.

Zaid added that they hope to continue growing as a community and want other groups to join them.

“We are part of Clark County as I said earlier, and Clark County is part of us,” he noted. “There are Chinese, there are Koreans, Pakistanis and on and on and on, I think we need to come together, and I always say, united we stand, divided we fall,” added Zaid.

Clark County Commissioners still need to vote a final time on a proclamation.