Bring your appetite, good cheer, candor and friendship to this Levantine Cultural Center (LCC) program as we celebrate the coming of spring, or Nowruz, new Persian year with special guests and activities, including artist-curator Marjan Vayghan on contemporary Iranian art and Persian poetry. The Members Exclusive Salon is a monthly networking event organized in appreciation of our members and supporters to allow them to learn about the different cultures of the MENA, connect with each other, and create a space for exchange and peace. Our last salon explored Morocco and this one is dedicated to Iran. RSVPs strongly advised to ensure sufficient bounties of food, 323.413.2001. or email firstname.lastname@example.org with the names of those attending and your phone number please. (Members and donors may attend with one or two guests.)
The salon is entitled "A la Mode de Chez Nous" because every month it is organized in the customs and traditions of the community represented. It is a unique chance to learn about other cultures, and we invite our members to meet these cultures with an open mind and an open heart. Every A la Mode de Chez Nous, we all gather under a particular theme to enjoy the individual stories, the creative melodies, the innovative works or the revolutionary words of one of our communities. Still, we first and foremost gather to meet each other by completely merging into each other's stories, and by experiencing each other's traditions.
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.
The Inside/Outside Gallery at the Levantine Cultural Center presents دورود Dorood: New Art from Iran, with an opening reception on March 28, 2014. Dorood will be on view daily through April 27, 2014. This exhibition includes dozens of new and recent works from younger/underground artists working in Tehran and other cities in Iran, curated by Azeri-Iranian American artist Marjan Vayghan, who travels back and forth between her two countries and very much experiences life "being between worlds." Many of the artists in Dorood are showing work in the United States for the first time. The term "Dorood" is a formal ancient Persian term for "Hello" or "greetings" and was inspired by one of the artists, Elaheh Mahdavi, showcased in the exhibition.
Notes curator Marjan Vayghan, Dorood is not an exhibition about "saving Iran" or "giving Iran's youth a voice"; Iran and the youth of Iran are not apart of some entity that needs "saving." The artists in this exhibition, she points out, are not subalterns in need of exposure. Rather, the works showcased are extant of raw, pure talent and contain strength that can only be forged within the gears of adversity. Life in Iran's Islamic Republic presents many challenges to individual freedom of expression, yet Dorood recognizes the fact that these artists are in some sense already empowered and the exhibit therefore is a site for cultural exchange. Dorood is bringing the voices of young Iranians to the West so that we can benefit from the epic knowledge, perspective and audacious talent of Iran's youth. Gallery exhibitors are welcome to address comments and thank you letters directly to our artists.
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? On Thursday, March 6, 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 Peace. KPFK 90.7 FM Pacifica Radio is a media sponsor.
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 Peace. KPFK 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 Terrorism; Sleeping with the Devil: How Washington Sold Our Soul for Saudi Crude; and The Devil We Know: Dealing with the New Iranian Superpower. Robert Scheer is the editor-in-chief of the online news magazine Truthdig and a regular commentator on KCRW's Left, Right and Center.
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
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.
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.
On Thurs., Jan. 16, Bernard Radfar, author of the satirical epistolary collection Insincerely Yours, Letters From a Prankster, and now the novel, Mecca Pimp, a Novel of Love and Human Trafficking, will be in conversation live at the Levantine Cultural Center with serial interviewer Jordan Elgrably (James Baldwin, Milan Kundera, Nadine Gordimer, Harold Brodkey, Gilbert Sorrentino, Amy Tan, Edward Said et al), discussing the characters and situations in Mecca Pimp, in which the fictional Mary and Mark Black run a human trafficking empire in Saudi Arabia until Mary jets off to New York City. Whether their love endures is the subject of the novel.
The San Francisco Bay-area based musician and composer Shirzad Sharif will present an exclusive concert of tanbur and percussion at the Levantine Cultural Center on Friday, January 10, 8 pm, in two