Come to the Levantine café on a Saturday night and enjoy a lively evening of 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. This program presented by the Levantine Cultural Center and the Friends of the West Hollywood Library. Listen to a KQED podcast.
"A Grand Souk Festival" will feature activities for adults and children on Sunday, May 19th at El Rancho Cordillera del Norte in Northridge from 11:30 am until 5:00 pm. This open air bazaar of arts and culture is a culminating celebration of the Big Read Program through the National Endowment for the Arts and the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. This Valley celebration is sponsored by The Museum of the San Fernando Valley, a participant in this year's Big Read Program, along with the Levantine Cultural Center.
On March 5, 2007 a massive car bomb was detonated on Baghdad's al-Mutanabbi Street—for centuries the heart of Baghdad's intellectual and literary community—killing 30 and injuring 100. On Tuesday, March 5, New Roads School will host a poetry reading, involving both professional poets and New Roads High School students, to mark the sixth anniversary of the bombing that decimated "the street of booksellers" and its bookstores, outdoor book stalls, small print shops, and cafes. Poets participating in the reading include Tania Baban, Jordan Elgrably, Majid Naficy, Jim Natal, and Janet Sternburg—all contributors to Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here, a new anthology of poetry written in response to the attack.
A selection of letterpress broadsides from the internationally-touring show, Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here will be displayed in conjunction with the New Roads reading. The full show consists of 130 broadsides—one for each victim of the—all of which were created as collaborations among artists, poets, and writers responding to an international call put out by San Francisco bookseller Beau Beausoleil, the project's founder and guiding force.
In addition to the reading at New Roads School, al-Mutanabbi Street reading events are being held in Washington D.C., Boston, San Francisco, and in the U.K to commemorate the anniversary.
On Thursday, July 19, the Goethe-Institut and Levantine Cultural Center present an evening of readings with Tunisian novelist Hassouna Mosbahi. Selections from Mosbahi's most recent novels, The Orphan of Time and A Tunisian Tale (available in English from the American University of Cairo Press) will be read by Mosbahi along with actors Jihad Abdo and Patrick Faucette reading from his work in Arabic and English. A public discussion will ensue, moderated by Fareed Majari, director of the Goethe-Institut in Los Angeles following his posting in Beirut, Lebanon. The program is free to the public, and is cosponsored by the Villa Aurora, where Hassouna Mosbahi is a Feuchtwanger Fellow until the end of the year.
LOS ANGELES WILL BE HOME TO FIRST MULTIDISCIPLINARY ARTS CENTER
FOR THE MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA, OPENING JAN 2013
After over a decade of presenting arts and education programs in Southern California, the Levantine Cultural Center (LCC)—a 501c3 nonprofit organization that champions diverse cultures from Morocco to Afghanistan—has embarked on a 6-month campaign to raise $2 million. The Center will re-open in a new 10,000 square foot multidisciplinary space in January 2013. The LCC presents arts that promote inter-cultural dialogue and friendship, including film, theatre, music, art exhibits, author talks, classes and workshops.
An evening in the MENA-X series with authors Ferial Masry and Chris Cryer. Chris Cryer's new book is Tolstoy in Riyadh-A Story of a Teacher and Her Muse. Ferial Masry is the author of Running for All the Right Reasons: A Saudi-Born Woman's Pursuit of Democracy. The two women discuss their lives, their friendship and their books on the Saudi exotique.
Levantine Cultural Center's best-loved creative writing teacher, Elana Golden, leads a special one-of-a-kind creative writing workshop for Armenians and Turks, and their friends. In an atmosphere of respect for our common humanity, this workshop will offer a safe space and guidance for Armenians and Turks to write their stories and those of their families and ancestors, and listen to each other's work from the heart. Says Elana, "It is my greatest honor and life purpose to help people heal and grow from war and trauma, and to turn atrocities into works of art so we remember them and not repeat them."
"THE PEOPLE RELOADED: IRAN'S GREEN MOVEMENT AND THE FUTURE OF US-IRAN RELATIONS"
MAY 11, 2011 AT THE LEVANTINE CENTER
WITH REZA ASLAN, NADER HASEMI & MUHAMMAD SAHIMI