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Islamophobia, Analysis of the Muslim-Black Experience, Sohail Daulatzai & Asli Bali

Event Details
Date/Time: 
May 25 2014 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Price: 
Suggested donation $10/$5 students (no one turned away)
Where: 
Levantine Cultural Center
5998 W. Pico Blvd
Los Angeles CA 90035
Between La Cienega & Fairfax
street parking or at CVS underground lot
Subtitle: 
moderated by Asli Bali

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.

Sultans of Satire with K-Von, Feraz Ozel, Aron Kader, Noel Elgrably, Mona Shaikh, Sherwin Arae

Event Details
Date/Time: 
May 23 2014 8:00am - 10:30pm
Price: 
$15 early bird (if purchased by 5/21); $18 thereafter
RSVPs strongly advised: 323.413.2001
Doors open 7 pm for dinner, show starts 8:00 pm
Click here to buy tickets
Where: 
Levantine Cultural Center & Café
5998 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90035
Between La Cienega & Fairfax
street parking
Subtitle: 
Middle East Comic Relief!

Limited seating for this long-running and inspired comedy show—come enjoy a healthy dose of comic relief, laugh about life and the Middle East with one of L.A's hottest comedy troupes, the Sultans of Satire. Hosted by Feraz Ozel (Afghanistan/Iran), this show features several of the funniest young comedians on the circuit today. Headliner K-Von, with Mona Shaikh, Noël Elgrably, Sherwin Arae and Aron Kader (Comedy Central's Axis ofEvil)! Come early, have dinner in the café, spend a warm evening with us...

Sultans of Satire: Middle East Comic Relief for Peace

Event Details
Date/Time: 
Apr 10 2014 8:00pm - 10:00pm
Price: 
$25 General, $35 Preferred Seating, $50 VIP (includes gift)
RSVPs strongly advised: 323.413.2001
Click here to reserve your seats.

Unable to attend? Click to make a charitable contribution.
Where: 
Harmony Gold Theatre
7655 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles CA 90046
A few blocks east of Fairfax at Stanley
underground and rear lot parking
Subtitle: 
Aron Kader headlines, Sammy Obeid hosts, with Fahim Anwar, Josh Nasar, Melissa Shoshahi and Omid Singh

On Thursday, April 10th, see this exciting, very funny show, laugh with six Middle Eastern American stand-up comedians to humor that is satirical and universal.

America’s Great Game: The C.I.A. and U.S. Middle East Foreign Policy

Event Details
Date/Time: 
Mar 6 2014 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Price: 
Suggested $15 donation ($12 members/students), $30 with signed book
RSVPs strongly advised: 323.413.2001
Click here to reserve your seat/book
Where: 
Westwood Hills Congregational Church
1989 Westwood Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90025
At the corner of La Grange, south of Santa Monica Blvd.
Lot and street parking
Subtitle: 
a public forum and book signing on the shaping of the Middle East/North Africa

What shaped the C.I.A., and how does the agency play a role in our foreign policy in the Middle East and North Africa? The Levantine Cultural Center presents a public forum and book signing with intelligence historian Hugh Wilford and former C.I.A. case officer Robert Baer, in conversation about the history of the agency's Arabists and the direction of U.S. Middle East foreign policy, particularly with respect to Israel, Iran and Syria. The discussion will be moderated by journalist and political commentator Robert Scheer. The program is made possible in part by Truthdig and LA Jews for PeaceKPFK Pacifica Radio 90.7 FM is a media sponsor.

Hugh Wilford's new book is America's Great Game, The CIA's Secret Arabists and the Shaping of the Modern Middle East. Robert Baer is a former CIA case officer who served everywhere from Iraq to the former Soviet Union. (The 2005 film Syriana, starring George Clooney, was an adaptation of several of his books about the intelligence world.) Baer is the author of See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA's War on TerrorismSleeping with the Devil: How Washington Sold Our Soul for Saudi Crude; and The Devil We Know: Dealing with the New Iranian SuperpowerRobert Scheer is the editor-in-chief of the online news magazine Truthdig and a regular commentator on KCRW's Left, Right and Center.

Sultans of Satire: Middle East Comic Relief!

Event Details
Date/Time: 
Feb 21 2014 8:00pm - 10:30pm
Price: 
$15 advance ($12 members), $18 at the door
RSVPs strongly advised: 323.413.2001

Doors open 6 pm for dinner, show starts 8:30 pm
Click here to buy tickets
Where: 
Levantine Cultural Center/Café Rumi
5998 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90035
Between La Cienega & Fairfax
Street parking
Subtitle: 
humor by young comedians from across the Middle East/North Africa

Limited seating for this long-running and inspired comedy show-come enjoy a healthy dose of comic relief, laugh about life and the Middle East with one of L.A's hottest comedy troupes, the Sultans

Forum on Fighting Islamic Fundamentalism with Karima Bennoune

Event Details
Date/Time: 
Feb 27 2014 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Price: 
Suggested $10 donation/$5 students; $30 with signed book
RSVPs strongly advised: 323.413.2001
Click here to reserve
Where: 
Westwood Hills United Congregational Church
1989 Westwood Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90025
Free lot and street parking
Subtitle: 
a human rights law professor on her new book

Critics of Islam ask why Muslims themselves don't speak out often enough against extremism. The Levantine Cultural Center and Muslims for Progressive Values invite you to a public forum on Muslims like the young Malala Yousefzai and countless others around the world who oppose Islamic fundamentalism. Featured guest speaker is human rights lawyer and UC Davis law professor Karima Bennoune, whose book Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here, Untold Stories from the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism, was named one of the top ten books of the year on religion and spirituality by Booklist, the magazine of the American Library Association. Read an excerpt on how Muslim artists battle fundamentalism. Cosponsored by Muslims for Progressive Values. Moderated by MPV cofounder Ani Zonneveld (bio follows).

"Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here should be required reading, not only for those of us who are professionally involved with Muslim-majority societies, but also for anyone who mistakenly believes that Muslims are doing nothing to end fundamentalist violence." —Rachel Newcomb, The Washington Post 

Middle East Drum Circle with Rowan Storm

Event Details
Date/Time: 
Feb 8 2014 1:30pm - 3:30pm
Price: 
Suggested donation $10 for one circle, $15 for two
Where: 
Levantine Cultural Center
5998 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles 90035
Between La Cienega and Fairfax
street parking
Subtitle: 
practice rhythm, learn new beats

Come participate in a dynamic Middle East rhythm and drum circle, facilitated by Rowan Storm, Saturday from 1:30 -3:30 pm, Feb. 8, 2014 (repeats on March 15, 2014). Beginners welcome. For all ages. Family friendly. Various hand drums and percussion provided, or bring your own. The Levantine Cultural Center is located at 5998 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles 90035 between La Cienega and Fairfax. 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 Part One ~ Basic Lesson: $10. Part Two ~ Rhythm Circle: $10. Suggested contribution for both parts: $15.

Sultans of Satire: Middle East Comic Relief!

Event Details
Date/Time: 
Jan 24 2014 8:00pm - 10:30pm
Price: 
$15 advance ($12 members), $18 at the door
RSVPs strongly advised: 323.413.2001
Click here to buy tickets
Where: 
Levantine Cultural Center
5998 W. Pico Blvd
Los Angeles CA 90035
Between La Cienega & Fairfax
street parking
Subtitle: 
headliner Mike Batayeh

Limited seating for this long-running and inspired comedy show—come enjoy a healthy dose of comic relief, laugh about life and the Middle East with one of L.A's hottest comedy troupes, the Sultans of Satire. Hosted by Sheno Khal, this show features several of the funniest young comedians on the circuit today. Headliner MIKE BATAYEH, with K-Von, Marie-Thérèse Abou-Daoud, Omid Singh, Melissa Shoshahi and, joining the Sultans for the first time, DJ Sandhu! Come early, have dinner in the café, spend a warm evening with us...

The Sultans of Satire are seriously funny—if you need to laugh, you'll appreciate this show with its satirical insights and fresh perspectives on American and Middle Eastern life. The humor is universal; the comedans hail from the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia. Founded in 2005, The Sultans of Satire is the longest-running Middle Eastern stand-up comedy show in the U.S. with some of the best young stand-up comedians from diverse faiths. This show cosponsored by Freedom Theatre West. Show $15 general admission, $12 members, $18 at the door. Middle Eastern and North African dishes, signature drinks and more served by Café Rumi. Tickets/info 323.413.2001. Watch video clips at sultansofsatire.com.

Iconoclasts and Visionaries Dinner with Tamim Ansary

Event Details
Date/Time: 
Sep 25 2013 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Price: 
Dinner $75 per person, includes autographed book
please indicate "Destiny Disrupted" or "Games Without Rules"
Click here to buy tickets
Where: 
Private home, Encino Hills, near the 405 and Ventura Blvd. exit
Subtitle: 
the second in the series, following dinner with Reza Aslan

Janet Sternburg and Steven Lavine host the Levantine Cultural Center's second exclusive new dinner salon series, "Iconoclasts and Visionaries," a private dinner and book signing with author Tamim Ansary. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are the most expensive in U.S. history, costing an estimated $4-6 trillion over time. Was it worth it? What should we know about our involvement in Afghanistan? How can we avoid repeating the mistakes of the past? RSVP today and meet Tamim Ansary on the evening of Wed., Sept. 25th in a beautiful Encino hills home, near the intersection of the 405 and Ventura Blvd.

Writes Rajiv Chandrasekaran, author of Little America: The War Within the War for Afghanistan, "In Games Without Rules, Tamim Ansary has written the most engaging, accessible and insightful history of Afghanistan. With gifted prose and revealing details, Ansary gives us the oft-neglected Afghan perspective of the wars, foreign meddling and palace intrigue that has defined the past few centuries between the Indus and Oxus. This brilliant book should be required reading for anyone involved in the current war there—and anyone who wants to understand why Afghanistan will not be at peace anytime soon." 

Join us to celebrate Tamim Ansary's Games Without Rules, The Often Interrupted History of Afghanistan. You'll learn a great deal, enjoy a delicious dinner with a cosmopolitan crowd, and help support the Levantine Cultural Center—one of the most active and vital nonprofit organizations for Middle East arts and cultures in Southern California. Levantine Cultural Center is a non-profit organization and these fundraising dinners are an important part of underwriting public programs and services to the community. Read an NPR report on Tamim Ansary.

Tamim Ansary on Afghanistan, the U.S. and the World

Event Details
Date/Time: 
Sep 26 2013 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Price: 
Suggested donation $10/$5 students (no one turned away)
Where: 
Iman Cultural Center
3376 Motor Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90034
Take the Overland exit from the 10 freeway
ample free lot and street parking
Subtitle: 
a public forum—the world through Islamic eyes

Afghan American author Tamim Ansary will speak in a public forum on the themes of his two most recent books, Destiny Disrupted and Games Without Rules, on Afghanistan, giving a perspective on Middle East and foreign affairs from an Islamic perspective. There will be a book signing afterward and light refreshments will be served. Of his book Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes, former Abu Dhabi Film Festival director Peter Scarlet says, "A magnificent, beautifully written work that helped change my way of looking at the world. I can't tell you how many people I've told about it or given copies as a gift."