On Saturday, December 6th, 2014, the Levantine Cultural Center will hold its East-West Awards Gala, once again at the Beverly Hill's Women's Club. The East-West Awards recognize the sustained efforts of outstanding individuals working in the United States to bridge political and religious divides that may exist between Americans and the Middle East/North Africa, whether through media, peace activism or interfaith unity.
The full program includes a red-carpet reception and silent auction, live music, comedy, dinner and the awards ceremony. Distinguished honorees will be honored for significant contributions in cultural diplomacy, relationship-building, interfaith alliances, and peace activism. Previous honorees include Ms. Zainab Al-Suweij, Dr. Reza Aslan, Rabbi Leonard Beerman, Ms. Bana Hilal, Mayor Eric Garcetti, Ms. Jodie Evans and Ms. Roxana Saberi.
All proceeds will benefit the Levantine Cultural Center, a 501(c)3 founded 13 years ago as a grassroots nonprofit organization that champions a greater understanding of the Middle East/North Africa and our communities in diaspora.
Deconstructing stereotypes: Jack G. Shaheen remembers 40 years
of commitment to positive Arab and US
understanding in evening lecture
[Monday December 10, 2012] On Wednesday December 19th, The Levantine Cultural Center presents honored media critic and film scholar Dr. Jack G. Shaheen in an intimate discussion and forum on misleading stereotypes based on Hollywood's negative portrayal of Arabs. Shaheen will be discussing his life-long commitment to illuminate social justice, with insights into the highs and lows of his 40-year quest, including his mission to reveal and terminate these damaging Arab and Muslim stigmas.
WHO: Jack G. Shaheen, media activist
WHERE: Levantine Cultural Center, 5998 W. Pico Blvd., LA 90035, street parking.
PRICE: Free to general public
INFO/RSVPs: Levantine Cultural Center, 323.413.2001, levantinecenter.org.
[Los Angeles-Monday November 27, 2012] Beginning Saturday, December 1st, the Levantine Cultural Center presents a fascinating new exhibit based on the work of film and media scholar Dr. Jack G. Shaheen's work: A is for Arab: Stereotypes in U.S. Popular Culture.
Vijay Mahajan, Ph.D., visited 18 Arab nations for his book that reveals a vibrant, bustling place full of commerce and consumers hungry for goods of almost every kind.
BEYOND "ARAB SPRING" & "ARAB RAGE"
VIJAY MAHAJAN FINDS THRIVING ARAB MARKET
OF 350 MILLION CONSUMERS
THU, OCT. 18, 2012, 7 PM
Late in July, Beirut's venerable dance company, Caracalla, presented their latest grand epic, "Zayed and the Dream," at Royce Hall. Under the watchful eye of Mohammed Khalaf Al Mazrouei, who sat quietly in the theatre dressed in jeans and a baseball cap, some 100 cast members entertained an audience made up almost equally of Arab Americans and non-Middle Easterners. The first half of the 2-hour plus performance told the hagiographic story of United Arabs Emirates founder Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
Zayed and the Dream follows the journey of seven horsemen as they travel through the sands of time in search of the destined one who will engrave his vision on the deserts of Arabia.
Levantine Cultural Center & The Writing Studio present Writing for Peace: War, Peace & the Path to Freedom. This workshop in creative writing with Elana Golden is for new and experienced writers—limited to 10 participants.
Turning wounds into literature is an act of self-preservation, self-discovery—a journey toward personal and global healing and peace. Elana Golden is a Los Angeles writer and teacher who works and corresponds with Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel. She has taught creative writing at Levantine Cultural Center for the past two years. She has worked with new and established writers from many countries, including Iran, Iraq, Israel, Pakistan, Egypt and the United States.
Whether among nations, classes or families, the workshop provides a peaceful, respectful and inspiring space in which to write stories born of war, conflict or occupation. The skills of creative writing will be taught and explored, as well as effective methods to put aside the critical mind.
By Tamim Ansary
Review by Tara Marie Good
In 1940 Walter Benjamin wrote, "To articulate what is past does not mean to recognize ‘how it really was.' It means to take control of a memory, as it flashes in a moment of danger." For the German-Jewish Marxist philosopher that moment of danger was the Nazi march on Europe. The moment of danger that inspired Afghani born Tamim Ansary to articulate Islamic history in Destiny Disrupted was September 11th.
Destiny Disrupted is a historical narrative of the Islamic world addressing the chasm seen to separate Western and Middle Eastern histories. The main thesis presented by Ansary is that the history of Islam and the West are two parallel histories, which overlap at points, but are fundamentally separate. Claiming to represent a general Muslim perception, Ansary charts Middle Eastern history from the ancient world to the western colonial and economic expansion in the modern era.
The documenting of Arab American history is still in its infancy stage, despite the fact that Arabs have been immigrating to the United States for centuries. Just this week, on October 17, the Arab American Historical Society held what was its fourth annual conference on the subject at USC.
Following Gregory Orfalea’s 2006 The Arab Americans (Olive Branch Press), New York-based civil rights attorney Alia Malek has written a new volume that merits wide attention. A Country Called Amreeka: Arab Roots, American Stories, presents a range of individuals and families across the country, from the uplifting story of Alabama football hero Ed Salem to the unfortunate saga of Palestinian American Alex Odeh, who was assassinated in Orange County by a bomb blast in his office in 1985. This sad chapter in Arab American history worsened when eight Arab Americans were haunted by the FBI and threatened with deportation (known as the “L.A. 8,” all charges were dropped years later, in the post-9/11 era).