Yehuda Shaul of Breaking the Silence, the organization of former Israeli soldiers, speaks out on the truth of the Palestinian occupation, and present the recent book Our Harsh Logic—"one of the most important books on Israel/Palestine in this generation" (The New York Review of Books). This public forum is presented by the Levantine Cultural Center with support from Jewish Voice for Peace-LA.
The very name of the Israel Defense Forces—which many Israelis speak of as "the most moral army in the world"—suggests that its primary mission is the defense of the country's territory. Indeed, both internationally and within Israel, support for the occupation of Palestinian territory rests on the belief that the army's actions and presence in the West Bank and Gaza are essentially defensive and responsive, aimed at protecting the country from terror. Read reviews.
a mural project including life-size portraits of all the greats
The Levantine Cultural Center has unveiled The HEROES OF THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA mural initiative, which proposes to create a large mural depicting cultural icons such as Rumi, Khalil Gibran, Fairuz, Naguib Mahfouz and other poets, writers, filmmakers, musicians and artists who are symbols of peace through the arts.
On Wed., Nov. 6, investigative journalist Max Blumenthal and activist Hamid Khan will discuss "LAPD Spying: Civil Liberties, Homeland Security, and the Israel Connection" in a public forum in the Progressive Conversations on Israel/Palestine and US Middle East Foreign Policy series. The program takes place at the Levantine Cultural Center.
As Dan Bluemel notes, "The federal government has been busy since the passing of the Patriot Act in 2001. Edward Snowden, an NSA whistle-blower, recently revealed that the NSA has been secretly storing vast amounts of digital information collected from millions of Americans' cell phone calls and Internet communications. Thanks to Snowden, citizens now have a much better idea of how busy their spy agencies have been, and who they have been targeting. However, one group, the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition, is trying to alert people in Los Angeles to the fact that domestic spying doesn't just happen at NSA headquarters in Maryland. Spying is local too, they say, and we can look no further than the Los Angeles Police Department."
Musicians participating include the UCSB Middle East Ensemble led by Scott Marcus ~ mizmar, ney; Jim Grippo ~ qanun; Matt Wright ~ oud; Susan Rudnicki ~ tabla baladi, darbuka. More info here.
A Celebration of Palestinian Culture presents an evening devoted to Palestinian women in film. Yasmine Perni's The Stones Cry Out tells the story of Palestinian Christians, while Mahasen Nasser-Eldin's documentary,Restored Pictures, explores the life of one of historic Palestine's first female photographers. Following the screenings, a panel will discuss filmmaking and what the playing field currently looks like, on both sides of the Green Line, for Arab women filmmakers.
In Restored Pictures we travel in this documentary between Bethlehem, Haifa and Nazareth to explore the life of Karimeh Abbud—the first female photographer in pre-1948 Palestine. Born in Bethlehem in 1894, Karimeh rapidly rose to prominence in a traditionally male-dominated profession after receiving her first camera as a teenager. Her photos are important historical records of life in Palestine in the early 1900s. Following the screening, director Mahasen Nasser-Eldin appears live in conversation with Yasmine Perni at Mission Viejo's Norm Murray Community Center, 24932 Veterans Way, Mission Viejo, CA 92692. Info 949.470.3062. Directions.
With The Stones Cry Out we begin to understand that all too often media coverage of the conflict in Palestine has framed it as a fight between Muslims and Jews, largely ignoring the fact that Palestine was the birthplace of Christianity, that Palestinians are both Muslims and Christians, and that Palestinian Christians have played a critical role in their land's history and the struggle to maintain its identity.
A Celebration of Palestinian Culture presents a directors' screening of It's Better to Jump, a new documentary about the ancient walled city of Akka (aka Acre) in northern Israel, inhabited by Muslims, Christians, Jews, and Baha'i. Akka's history goes all the way back to rule of the Egyptian Pharaohs. As Akka undergoes harsh economic pressures and vast social change, the present-day situation is causing Arab families to leave the places where they have grown roots for dozens of generations and shaped a rich culture for over a thousand years.
This film focuses on the aspirations and concerns of the Palestinian inhabitants who call the Old City home. Following the screening, co-directors Patrick Stewart, Gina M. Angelone and Mouna Stewart appear live in conversation at Mission Viejo's Norm Murray Community Center, 24932 Veterans Way, Mission Viejo, CA 92692. Info 949.470.3062. Directions. About the directors.
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.
Attorney Reem Salahi and filmmaker Faisal Attrache join forces to talk about their recent trips to Syria, Jordan and Turkey where they visited with refugees from Syria's uprising. Reem Salahi will report back on her recent trip to northwestern Syria, where she visited camps for internally displaced Syrians, villages in "liberated" Syria including Kafranbel, Saraqeb and Ma'arat Numan (in Idlib province) and local organizations and activists. Faisal Attrache, who is shooting the documentary "Walk-Ins Welcome: Stories of Syrian Refugee Barbers," about Syrian refugees in the Zaatari camp in Jordan, will join the conversation with recent photos and video.
Following Iran's June presidential elections, the Levantine Cultural Center presents a public forum in the MENA-X series. CSUN professor Nayereh Tohidi and Occidental College assistant professor Hussein Banai will question whether the newly elected Iranian President, Hassan Rowhani, will bring about substantial changes and positive reforms? What major domestic and foreign policy challenges he will be facing? And what are the primary demands and expectations of the people who voted for him? This is a public forum in the MENA-X series (Middle East/North Africa Exchange). It is cosponsored by the series Progressive Conversations on Israel/Palestine and US Middle East Foreign Policy, a joint project of LA Jews for Peace, Friends of Sabeel, Jewish Voice for Peace-LA and the Levantine Cultural Center. Read an op-ed by Nayereh Tohidi in Open Democracy.