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Recent Programs

Reza Aslan on "The Power of the Arts" with the Naser Musa Trio

Event Details
Date/Time: 
May 26 2015 7:00pm - 9:30pm
Price: 
A charitable contribution is requested. RSVPs required, address in Bel Air provided upon registration.
Reservations requested before May 21st: 323.413.2001
Donate Here
Where: 
Private address in Bel Air.
Subtitle: 
dinner, a talk, live music in an exclusive benefit event, select guest list only

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.

Nowruz Lost and Found, Director's Screening

Event Details
Date/Time: 
May 21 2015 7:30pm - 9:00pm
Price: 
$12 general, $10 members, $7 students ($20 at the door!)
Seating limited! Reservations strongly advised: 323.413.2001
Click here to reserve seats
Where: 
Levantine Cultural Center
5998 W. Pico Blvd
Los Angeles CA 90035
Between La Cienega & Fairfax
street parking
Subtitle: 
or how a first-generation American rediscovered his Persian family's ancient New Year's custom

A movie, comedy and identity!...How many of us in the United States grow up knowing little about our own cultural heritage? In the drive to come to America and integrate, parents often urge their children to assimilate, and as a result, sometimes native languages and traditions fly out the window.

Until recently, this was the case for comedian Kayvon Moezzi, best known by his stage name, K-von, whose Iranian father taught him little about his unique heritage. All that changed not long ago, when K-von discovered the truth about...NOWRUZ. Join K-von at the Levantine Cultural Center for a special screening event, as he ditches the comforts of Hollywood to discover the meaning and traditions behind Nowruz (Persian New Year). Performing stand-up comedy at each stop along the way and with the help of some recognizable celebrities, scholars, and friends, the ancient holiday that K-von almost lost has now been found.

Enjoy film, live comedy and lively discussion with director K-von Moezzi and friends—this film is 100% in English, featuring actor/comedian Maz Jobrani, international vocal sensation Andy, the comedian Iron Sheikh, actor/comedian Ahmed Ahmed, novelist Firouzeh Dumas and others.

Peace After Marriage, a Palestinian-American Satire, Director in Person

Event Details
Date/Time: 
May 16 2015 8:30pm - 10:30pm
Price: 
$12 movie event only/$25 with dinner reception
dinner slated 7:30-8:30 pm Call 323.413.2001
Reserve your tickets here
Where: 
Harmony Gold Theatre
7655 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90046
Between Fairfax and La Brea, corner of Stanley
Free underground and behind-the-bldg parking
Subtitle: 
Only in New York
"Bridging the Mideast divide with comedy." —New York Times
"Is Ghazi Albuliwi the Palestinian Woody Allen? —Haaretz 


Director/star Ghazi Albuliwi joins us in person, along with cast/crew members to screen his "groundbreaking" (Huffington Post) comedy in person, followed by a Q & A. When a Palestinian in Brooklyn agrees to bargain his U.S. citizenship into a green-card marriage, he never expects to wed an Israeli, in Ghazi Albuliwi's edgy comedy Peace After Marriage. $12 movie event only/$25 with dinner reception. This evening is the culimination of the 2015 Celebrate Palestine week. The film screens at 8:30 pm, dinner is served at 7:30 pm.

Co-helmed with Bandar Albuliwi, the film has origins in Ghazi Albuliwi's standup roots. This "lighthearted Muslim-Jewish romantic comedy without a heavy political agenda" (Variety) won the audience award at Montpellier's Cinemed Fest.

Arafat (Ghazi Albuliwi), 30, is a struggling actor living with his parents and suffering from a major case of sexual frustration. With no pickup technique to speak of, he's stuck with porn and many lonely nights. Dad (Hany Kamal) keeps proposing arranged marriages in New York and Palestine, but the candidates never get his sense of humor, and he ends up fleeing. Mom (Hiam Abbass) is sympathetic, but the father is the king of the house, and surely a nice Muslim girl would be the answer to everyone's prayers.

Desperate for companionship, Arafat agrees to marry Michaela. The situation forces them to re-examine their respective cultural traditions, a satire in which both may transcend political, religious and familiar barriers. Read a Huffington Post interview with the director.

This program is one in the 2015 series, Celebrate Palestine, presented by the Levantine Cultural Center and the following underwriters and sponsors: Anonymous, Reza Amin, Jordan Elgrably, Elana Golden, Tarek Hoballah, Dr. Raymond Jallow, Jewish Voice for Peace-LA, LA Jews for Peace, Anthony Saidy MD, Dr. Diane Shammas, and with support from media sponsor KPFK 90.7 FM.  

Poets for Palestine

Event Details
Date/Time: 
May 15 2015 8:00pm - 10:00pm
Price: 
$12 general, $10 members/students/seniors
reservations strongly advised: 323.413.2001
Click here to reserve seats
Where: 
Levantine Cultural Center
5998 W. Pico Blvd
Los Angeles CA 90035
Between La Cienega & Fairfax
street parking
Subtitle: 
Fady Joudah, Hatem Kanaaneh & Friends

On the 67th anniversary of May 15, 1948, the date Palestinians commemorate as Nabka Day, we present five poets for Palestine, with special guest of honor, poet and translator Fady Joudah, joined by

Children of the Stone, Sandy Tolan on Music in Palestine

Event Details
Date/Time: 
May 13 2015 7:30pm - 9:00pm
Price: 
Suggested contribution $10/$5 students/seniors or $28 with the book
café open 7:00-9:30 pm for dinner/snacks
Donate Here
Where: 
Levantine Cultural Center
5998 W. Pico Blvd
Los Angeles CA 90035
Between La Cienega & Fairfax
street parking
Subtitle: 
The Power of Music in a Hard Land

Veteran NPR/PRI journalist Sandy Tolan, the critically-acclaimed author of The Lemon Tree, brings us another true story of hope in the Palestinian-Israeli impasse. His newest book, Children of the Stone, The Power of Music in a Hard Land, chronicles a young violinist—Ramzi Hussein Aburedwan—who escapes a Palestinian refugee camp and later returns to fulfill his dream: establishing a music school for Palestinians living under military occupation. Join Tolan for a moving conversation about how a love of music transforms and empowers lives in a war-torn land. Signed and discounted books available. Café open 7:00-9:30 pm, event at 7:30 pm.

This program is one in the 2015 series, Celebrate Palestine, presented by the Levantine Cultural Center and the following underwriters and sponsors: Anonymous, Reza Amin, Jordan Elgrably, Elana Golden, Tarek Hoballah, Dr. Raymond Jallow, Jewish Voice for Peace-LA, LA Jews for Peace, Anthony Saidy MD, Dr. Diane Shammas, and with support from media sponsor KPFK 90.7 FM.  

Gilad Atzmon on "A to Zion" and the Palestinian Right of Return

Event Details
Date/Time: 
May 10 2015 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Price: 
Free to the public (charitable contributions welcome)
Donate Here
Where: 
Levantine Cultural Center
5998 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90035
Between La Cienega & Fairfax
street parking
Subtitle: 
censored troublemaker speaks freely
Controversial author, master jazz artist (Pink Floyd's sax man) and professional troublemaker Gilad Atzmon, who describes himself as "an ex-Jew" despite or because of his Israeli upbringing, will discuss his latest book, A to Zion, the definitive Israeli Lexicon (co-authored with Enzo Apicella), and give a talk on the Palestinian "Right of Return," about which he has prepared the below synopsis. Atzmon's detractors call him a racist while others rally to his defense. Find out who Gilad Atzmon is with this rare L.A. appearance, and read his work online.

The Right Of Return is the core of the Palestinian cause. It positions the Nakba and the suffering of refugees as the primary issue, places Gaza into historical context and highlights the gross injustices perpetuated and sustained by Israeli politics since 1948. It clearly illuminates the racist nature of the Jewish state and its immigration laws. The Right Of Return offers a clear course of action that unites Palestinians in the region and the Diaspora but it evokes fear amongst Israelis, Zionists and Jewish anti-Zionists.

Since the early 2000s there has been a surge in Jewish support for Palestine and the Palestinian people. This support has been welcome but it came with a price; the call for the Right Of Return has been gradually diluted by alternative terminology designed to appeal to the Jewish progressive crowd.

In this talk, I will elaborate on the terminological shift that left the Palestinian people and their cause behind. I will suggest that each of the terms introduced into the discourse in the last two decades functioned primarily to legitimize Israel and appeal to the Jewish Left crowd. The reality is grim; instead of solidarity with the victims, the movement has morphed into an attempt to appease the oppressor. This unfortunate shift may explain why the solidarity movement has achieved so little for the Palestinians. It is possible that it wasn't supposed to achieve much in the first place. 

"Palestine," a group exhibition

Event Details
Date/Time: 
May 9 2015 7:00pm - Jun 30 2015 6:00pm
Price: 
Free to the public
Where: 
Inside/Outside Gallery
Levantine Cultural Center
5998 W. Pico Blvd
Los Angeles CA 90035
Between La Cienega & Fairfax
street parking
Subtitle: 
Ramsey Chahine, John Halaka, Khalid Hussein, Najat El-Taji El-Khairy, Jodet Shuquem, Rk Shuquem

In "Palestine," visitors are invited to reflect on their own connection to historic Palestine, be it direct, ephemeral or matter-of-fact when reflecting upon the palimpsest (the country beneath Israel) in the making 1948-2015, and the works in the show, by Ramsey Chahine, John Halaka, Khalid Hussein, Najat El-Taji El-Khairy, and father and son artists, Jodet Shuquem and R.k. Shuquem.

RAMSEY CHAHINE Influenced by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Picasso and Marc Chagall among others, Ramsey Chahine is a young and prolific artist whose work is playful yet often profound. His paintings express a love of life, as well as a passionate curiosity about the meaning of things. In 2014 the Levantine Cultural Center's Inside/Outside Gallery presented Chahine's one-man show, "The Poison Is the Cure," featuring more than 25 mixed media paintings and sculptures. A Lebanese-Palestinian American, Ramsey was born in Redondo Beach, California. He currently works in New York City. 

JOHN HALAKA John Halaka is an activist artist whose creative work serves as a vehicle for meditation on personal, cultural and political concerns. He creates images that raise questions, for himself as well as for the viewer, about some of the pressing issues of our time. His experiences as an artist of Palestinian descent shape his pictorial investigations of cycles of repression and displacement as well as the personal and political relationship between desire, denial and instability. His recent work in both painting and documentary filmmaking investigates issues of identity construction from personal, familial and political perspectives. "Through my work, I attempt to initiate a dialogue with the viewer that could hopefully instigate transformation, one person at a time. This effort is best summarized by James Baldwin's eloquent observation. "When circumstances are made real by another's testimony, it becomes possible to envision change."

Free Syrian Immigration Information Session

Event Details
Date/Time: 
May 5 2015 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Price: 
Free to the public (charitable contributions welcome)
Donate Here
Where: 
Levantine Cultural Center
5998 W. Pico Blvd.

Los Angeles CA 90035
Between La Cienega & Fairfax
Street parking
Subtitle: 
all welcome

On May 5th, join us at the Levantine Cultural Center to hear from two NGOs in Los Angeles that are providing services to Syrian immigrants: Interfaith Refugee and Immigration Service and Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles. Free information and refreshments provided. You'll hear information about:

  • Applying for Asylum
  • What to do once your Asylum has been approved
  • Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
  • Applying for a Green card
  • Programs to help family members from Syria living in other countries
  • An update on Syrian refugees coming to Los Angeles

Diana Darke, Inside the Syrian Revolution

Event Details
Date/Time: 
Apr 29 2015 7:30pm - 9:00pm
Price: 
Suggested contribution $10/$5 students/seniors
café open 6:30-9:30 pm for dinner/snacks
Donate Here
Where: 
Levantine Cultural Center
5998 W. Pico Blvd, Los Angeles
Between Fairfax and La Cienega
Street parking and in underground CVS lot across Pico from center, till 10 pm only)
Subtitle: 
An Inside View of the Syrian Revolution

Diana Darke presents her new book My House in Damascus, An Inside View of the Syrian Revolution, introduced by Syrian American journalist Samir Twair.

Maz Jobrani Presents I'm Not a Terrorist, Orange County

Event Details
Date/Time: 
Apr 22 2015 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Price: 
$50 contribution (with mezze, drinks, a copy of the book)
reservations required: 323.413.2001
THIS EVENT SOLD OUT AS OF 4/20/15
Where: 
Private residence
Laguna Niguel CA 92677
(address provided upon reservations)
Subtitle: 
But I've Played One on TV

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.