An exhibit by Ara Oshagan at the The Center for Experimental Art and Architecture through October 17, 2008
Born in Beirut of Armenian heritage, with his degrees in Physics and English Literature from UCLA and a degree in Geophysics from UC Berkley, by day Ara Oshagan is a geophysicist and at other times an accomplished documentary photographer. Scion of Armenian poets, writers and educators, Oshagan is also an avowed novelist manqué who uses photography to narrate his community’s stories—or in the case of “Identity and Community”—interwoven Armenian and Ethiopian narratives. With “three skeletons of novels in my head,” nearly a decade ago he began taking photography to a higher level and has held several solo and group exhibits.
“We play heavy metal because our lives are heavy metal.” —Reda Zine, one of the founders of the Moroccan heavy-metal scene
“Music is the weapon of the future.” —Fela Kuti
Mark LeVine is the author of Why They Don't Hate Us, Unveiling the Axis of Evil. In his new book, Heavy Metal Islam: Rock, Resistance and the Struggle for the Soul of Islam, you'll find an eighteen-year-old Moroccan who loves Black Sabbath. A twenty-two-year-old rapper from the Gaza Strip. A young Lebanese singer who quotes Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song.” They are as representative of the world of Islam today as the conservatives and extremists we see every night on the news. Heavy metal, punk, hip-hop, and reggae are each the music of protest, and in many cases considered immoral in the Muslim world. This music may also turn out to be the soundtrack of a revolution unfolding across that world.
A Map of Home recently won the prestigious Hopwood Award. Here's what one of our favorite Arab American writers/poets, Naomi Shihab Nye, had to say about this debut novel:
"Jazzy, and vastly intelligent and fun. Jarrar is a wonderworker with delectable details and sweet swerves of surprise. I adore her multicultural mix and her wry, punchy attitude and think she embodies some crucial new-world Arab-American that I wish the whole world could see, the old worlds and the smug self-satisfied pundits who think they can know or guess what a creative spirit might really be. I turn to her for gusto." - Naomi Shihab Nye
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