Come participate in a dynamic Middle East rhythm and drum circle, facilitated by percussion expert Rowan Storm, Saturday from 1:30 -3:30 pm, June 14, 2014. Beginners welcome. For all ages. Family friendly. Various hand drums and percussion provided, or bring your own. Info/reservations 323.413.2001 or just show up. Grab a drum or bring your own and join the fun! Visit carpetconcert.com or rowanstorm.com.
Suggested contribution for two hours is $20.
You are invited on Wednesday, June 11, 7:30-9:00 pm to participate in a public conversation on the revolution in Tunisia and its aftermath, with visiting Fulbright scholar Oussama Laifi and Loyola
Sohail Daulatzai, in a forum moderated by Asli U. Bâli, will discuss how the fears around "extremism" have impacted diverse Muslim communities (Black, Asian, Arab, etc.), and how this fear has reinvigorated the deeper criminalization of non-Muslim Black and Latino communities in the United States. He will explore the legacy of Malcolm X—the history of blackness and Islam together, the fear of what Malcolm X ushered in, and the politics he tried to put forward. He will ask what role Muslims should/could play in American politics, and the role does race plays in understanding government surveillance.
This public forum on Islamophobia examines widespread racism and American policing and government spying. Racial and religious profiling remains a key concern in the Arab/Muslim community, while "stop and frisk" policing around the country still primary persecutes Black and Latino communities. Recent revelations of the massive surveillance apparatus of the NSA and other branches of the U.S. government have raised tremendous debate and concern around privacy and security, reinvigorating long-standing liberal notions about violations to civil liberties.
While mainstream America is concerned at the extent of government surveillance, there is very little alarm and in fact a great deal of public support for the continued surveillance of Muslim communities as a potential fifth column of "radicalization" and subversion in a post-9/11 climate. This forum is organized by LA Jews for Peace, hosted by the Levantine Cultural Center, and cosponsored by the United Methodist Holy Land Task Force and Council on American Islamic Relations-LA. Read a column by Sohail Daulatzai in The Nation.
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.