Mark Amin & Reza Amin cordially invite you to a Levantine Cultural Center fundraiser and introduction to The Markaz* with special guest speaker Reza Aslan on The Power of the Arts, featuring the Naser Musa Trio. A dinner, talk and live music in an exclusive benefit event, select guest list only.
Reza Aslan, host of CNN's forthcoming new religion series Believer, is the cofounder of BoomGen Studios, producing the upcoming ABC show Kings and Prophets which has a diverse cast (Israeli, Palestinian, Lebanese, Indian) and the feature film 1001, just sold to Lionsgate based on the classic tale One Thousand and One Nights.
Each year toward mid-May, communities of people supportive of Palestine or Israel (or both) are confronted by two diametrically opposed holidays: Israel's May 14, 1948 Independence Day and Palestine's Nakba Day May 15th. Our May 2015 series will create positive conditions for discussion and action. Please help us make this series successful with your attendance and support. See video from 2013 Celebrate Palestine series presented by the California Charitable Foundation and the LCC.
Get your all-events festival pass, with dinner and a movie on May 16th, just $100!
Ms. Fara Salamat and the Levantine Cultural Center present a special benefit presentation of world-renowned comedian and actor Maz Jobrani, who explains what it's like to be an Iranian American in Hollywood in his new bestselling book, I'm Not a Terrorist, But I've Played One on TV, a hilarious and moving memoir of growing up Iranian in America, and the quest to make it in Hollywood without having to wear a turban, tote a bomb, or get kicked in the face by Chuck Norris. Following the book release, Jobrani has set out on a comedy tour to explain how he overcame Hollywood stereotypes and forged a path to stardom in an industry that only saw him as the perfect TV terrorist. Jobrani is a Levantine cultural ambassador. Read about the book from Maz Jobrani's POV here.
Included in the price of the ticket are a signed copy of the book, mezze (major hors d'oeuvres) and refreshments. Hosted in a private resident in Laguna Niguel (south Orange County). Advance RSVPs required here, or call 323.413.2001.
World-renowned comedian and actor Maz Jobrani, explains what it's like to be an Iranian American in Hollywood in his new bestselling book, I'm Not a Terrorist, But I've Played One on TV, a hilarious and moving memoir of growing up Iranian in America, and the quest to make it in Hollywood without having to wear a turban, tote a bomb, or get kicked in the face by Chuck Norris. Following the book release, Jobrani set out on a comedy tour explaining how he overcame Hollywood stereotypes and forged a path to stardom in an industry that only saw him as the perfect TV terrorist. Jobrani is a Levantine cultural ambassador.
Read about the book from Maz Jobrani's POV here.
By Jordan Elgrably
Charlie Hebdo, ISIS, Gaza, Ferguson, the Taliban, drone attacks killing families in Afghanistan and Pakistan...
In a world dominated by news and entertainment media, we find ourselves constantly bombarded with negative representations of Arab/Muslim culture. Extremist groups like ISIS and the Taliban dominate the discourse, while Palestine, Iran, Iraq and other countries are painted with a shallow brush. Events like the Charlie Hebdo attack and films like American Sniper can feed Islamophobia and cause anti-Arab/Muslim behavior. But why allow extremism and discrimination to define our communities, when arts and education can help us humanize our voices?
You can absolutely make a difference in how the American mainstream perceives Arab/Muslim/Middle Eastern cultures, by supporting our 2015 Capital Campaign:
• We reach out to Hollywood producers, directors, writers, actors & publicists to help correct misinformation and encourage deeper, more diverse portrayals of Arabs/Muslims
• Public programs bring together Arabs, Jews, Christians & other concerned citizens for thoughtful discussions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Iran, Syria, Egypt, Turkey et alia
• Exhibitions display the beautiful art of Arab, Iranian, Sephardic, Armenian, Turkish & other artists from the region
• Concerts of world music offer monthly opportunities to hear new and traditional music from the Arab world, the Balkans, Turkey, Armenia, Iran, Afghanistan & beyond
• Film screenings, partially supported by the Golden Globes organization (Hollywood Foreign Press Association) feature directors and sometimes cast members in discussion after each screening
• Authors of diverse Middle Eastern heritage present new novels, creative nonfiction, biographies and memoirs to appreciative audiences
Or How a British Pakistani Upstart Turned Herself Inside Out
By Sheana Ochoa
If you're like me, you're fascinated by actors who can transform themselves on stage and play multiple characters convincingly in a sitting. That's acting. The inimitable Marlon Brando, who died ten years ago, said that acting is not an art, it is a business, but anyone watching his oeuvre of films would disagree. Let's agree that acting is a craft, like any art, that must be practiced and honed. Happily, once in a while a new talent comes to us with such presence and authenticity, the artistic merit of the work cannot be denied. Nadia P. Manzoor's one-woman autobiographical play Burq Off! — which breezed into Los Angeles for a mere three-day run on its way to San Francisco-is one such ennobling and humanizing tour de force.
It's also hysterically funny.
"The Levantine Cultural Center continues to generate respect for Middle Eastern arts and culture in the U.S., specifically focusing on the wealth of Middle Eastern cultural arts already present in California, with the twin goals of building solidarity among peoples of diverse Middle East origins in Southern California and beyond and promoting understanding between Middle East peoples (roughly Afghanistan in the East to Morocco in the West) and mainstream Americans." —Barbara Al-Bayati, co-founder, Orphan Whispers
"The Levantine Cultural Center plays an important role in countering media bias and stereotyping against the Arab and Muslim community both in the US and overseas. By exposing its predominantly western audience to well-curated performances and cultural events that showcase the beauty and diversity of the Muslim world, the center is effective at building local community as well as changing minds and perceptions." —Ibrahim Alhusseini, venture capitalist, husseini.com
"Over the years, the Levantine Cultural Center has been a consistent source of support and inspiration to the Arab/Muslim community in Southern California, and we here at CAIR Greater Los Angeles Area, wish to express our deep appreciation. The Center is an important resource that provides Americans with high-quality arts and educational programming that humanizes its participants, regardless of their background or heritage. From film, theatre, music, literary and arts programs to classes, workshops and public forums, the Center's programs create a safe space for exploration of potentially complex issues. We encourage everyone to plan a visit to the Levantine Cultural Center, and to lend it your support." —Hussam Ayloush, Executive Director, CAIR Greater Los Angeles
Whether you have some, little or no experience as an artist, Paint Your Guts Out! classes with artist G. Montine Blank are all about art-making and creative expression in workshops designed to help you discover how to easily access your creative flow, remove blocks and allow you to work spontaneously from the "zone." Paint Your Guts Out!© classes and workshops have been delivered to hundreds of individuals and private groups for enlightenment and inspiration since 2001. Testimonials.
Upcoming Classes are "Intuitive Watercolor Basics," 3 or 6 week series, Sep-Dec 2013; and "HeARTful Visionboard" series, 3 Sundays, Oct 2013. Take advantage of a special Levantine discount code, iArtLife2013, and save 20% off. Intuitive Watercolors series starts at $195. Manifest Artfully Visionboarding is $225. Register for classes online here, or call 323.413.2001 to register by phone. More info.