Can you believe it?!
We are just starting our 12th year serving greater Los Angeles. Don Heckman wrote the first LA Times article about us, positively reviewing our first public program, in a Calendar review published June 25, 2001. (We received another thumbs-up review in December 2001 by theatre critic Don Shirley and many more LA Times articles since.)
Come to the Levantine café on a Saturday night and enjoy a lively evening of live music,storytelling and passionate conversation, when six writers from diverse Iranian/Iranian American backgrounds come together in the spirit of entente. A new anthology represents an important step in the evolution of Iranian American writing, and offers a bridge between two countries whose governments are engaged in a cold war. Following the popular film Argo which has had an injurious affect on US-Iranian relations (as if they weren't bad enough already), the Levantine Cultural Center will present authors Gina Nahai, Ari Siletz, Zohreh Ghahremani, Shideh Etaat and the two editors of Tremors, Anita Amirrezvani and Persis Karim, reading from the anthology. Enjoy a concert of live Iranian music with multiinstrumentalist Nima Janmohammadi and percussion master Rowan Storm. This program presented by the Levantine Cultural Center and the Friends of the West Hollywood Library. Listen to a KQED podcast.
[Los Angeles—MAR. 20, 2013] Entering into the Persian New Year, the Levantine Cultural Center presents a masterpiece, Shahnameh: The Epic of the Persian Kings, a new illustrated edition of the classic work by the great 11th-century Persian poet Abolqasem Ferdowsi. Created by award-winning graphic artist and filmmaker Hamid Rahmanian, this new prose translation of the national epic is illuminated with over 500 pages of illustrations. Rahmanian will share images and text from the book as well as discuss the continued relevance of this powerful classic for a new generation of readers.
Always insightful, always compelling, Dr. Norman Finkelstein, historian and author of eight books, including most recently Knowing Too Much: Why the American Jewish Romance With Israel is Coming to an End, will come to Chapman University on Tuesday, April 23, 7 pm. He will be introduced by Prof. Nubar Hovsepian, who will moderate a Q & A after the presentation, followed by a book signing. The event is free and open to the public; donations are welcome. Finkelstein will present the arguments laid out in Knowing Too Much. Traditionally, he notes, American Jews have been broadly liberal in their political outlook; indeed African-Americans are the only ethnic group more likely to vote Democratic in US elections. Over the past half century, however, attitudes on one topic have stood in sharp contrast to this group's generally progressive stance: support for Israel. This forum made possible with the generous underwriting of Dr. Diane Shammas. Link to Chapman Campus Map here (see Beckman Hall, G6).
Entering into the Persian New Year, the Levantine Cultural Center presents a masterpiece, Shahnameh: The Epic of the Persian Kings, a new illustrated edition of the classic work by the great 11th-century Persian poet Abolqasem Ferdowsi. This new prose translation of the national epic is illuminated with over 500 pages of illustrations, created by award-winning graphic artist and filmmaker Hamid Rahmanian. The spectacular images in this edition were created from elements culled from thousands of illuminated manuscripts, lithographs, and miniatures dating from the fourteenth to the nineteenth centuries: each page is a new work of art and exquisite collage of traditional forms. Translated and adapted by Ahmad Sadri, this new edition retells the mythological and epic stories of the original poem in prose format. This event features santoor maestro Hamid Saeidi, and is cosponsored in part by Robert Reza Amin.
Writers Bloc with support from the Levantine Cultural Center presents Egyptian author and TED fellow Shereen El Feki, in a public conversation about changing sexuality in the Arab world, moderated by Egyptian American comedian Omar Elba. "A comedian and a researcher on changing Arab sexual behavior walk into a room..." Cairo-based journalist Shereen El Feki explores the changing attitudes of sex and intimacy in the Arab world in her new book, Sex and the Citadel: Intimate Life in a Changing Arab World. As radical changes in political regimes occur, shifts in personal behavior occur at the same time. Ms. El Feki looks at the traditional marriage models in Islam, and how they are changing at a rapid rate. She looks at sex as a lens through which she studies social change,and its relationship to the political upheaval in the past few years.
ON the 10th anniversary of the death of International Solidarity Movement peace activist Rachel Corrie, who was crushed by an IDF bulldozer while attempting to defend a Palestinian home in Gaza, host Khadija Anderson and the Levantaine Cultural Center invite you to share in an evening of poetry and music on behalf of Palestine. Los Angeles poets Arminé Iknadossian, Arash Saedinia and Khadija Anderson will read from their own work, and from Palestinian poets at home and in the diaspora. Ambient Oud artist Dann Torres performs on oud and guitars. A short film will screen. Café-bar open. Work of poets to include Taha Muhammad Ali, Laila 'Allush, Donia El-Amal Ismail, Siham Da'oud, Mahmoud Darwish, Najwan Darwish, Nathalie Handal, Annemarie Jacir. Fady Joudah, Samih al-Qasim, Islam Samhan, Mai Sayigh, Naomi Shihab Nye, Fadwa Tuqan, Ghassan Zaqtan. This literary event is one in a series celebrating literacy and the Middle East under the aegis of the NEA's Big Read program, supported locally by the Los Angeles Dept. of Cultural Affairs.
Dr. Jack Shaheen has been shattering Arab stereotypes in American popular culture since 1975.
"When I watch a movie and the bad guy's not an Arab, I'm relieved," Dr. Jack Shaheen admitted to his audience at Los Angeles' Levantine Cultural Center during a talk in late December. He grinned, and the audience chuckled a bit, but sadly, his sentiment was sincere.