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 is 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
You had to be there. Our comedy gala happened on a cold Saturday in west L.A. A diverse audience laughed through the night. We screamed in remembrance of Nelson Mandela. Omid Djalili, the man from London, had his first major show in Los Angeles at The Wadsworth—this after co-starring on Whoopi Goldberg's show a decade earlier; after various and sundry roles in several international blockbusters like The Mummy and Gladiator, and the indie comedy The Infidel.
The man known as Dwight Schrute on The Office, Rainn Wilson, brought him out. Andy Daly opened with a brilliant avant-garde comedy set that was all form and no content. Then Omid Djalili "killed it," as comedians say.
They talked about nothing, they talked about everything—and Djalili, the British Iranian comedian, actor, humanitarian and all-around good human being, brought tears to our eyes. He performed to benefit the Levantine Cultural Center, talked about Muslims and Jews being friends, he made fun of everyone, but always in his unique middle-to-high-brow way.
We are thankful for the sponsors who made the show possible—Bana & Nabil Hilal, Diane & Jeanette Shammas, Downtown LA Motors, Applied Medical; and the volunteers—Karin Attia, Bouchra Azizy, Mehdi Davachi and Bassam Jazairi, without whom the show would not have been possible.
Most of all, we thank Omid Djalili for his fantastic performance.
Rainn Wilson ("The Office") introduces Omid Djalili, one of Britain's top comedians, to Los Angeles, and Andy Daly opens the show. Omid is a favorite throughout Europe and the Middle East. International superstar comedian, actor (PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN, GLADIATOR, THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH, THE MUMMY, CASANOVA, MODIGLIANI, THE INFIDEL) and promoter of peace Omid Djalili will be doing one show only in Southern California, to benefit the Levantine Cultural Center, on Saturday evening, December 7th, 8:30 pm. Cosponsored by Downtown LA Motors. Get tickets here.
This is a 90-minute after-dinner show at the historic Wadsworth Theatre, the prominent westside Los Angeles venue, just west of Westwood, featuring guest appearances by nationally-known American comedian/actors RAINN WILSON and Andy Daly! Dine before the show in nearby restaurants such as Shamshiri Grill, Sunnin or Tagine, then come to the Wadsworth to savor an evening of laughter. (VIP ticket holders enjoy a post-show reception with the artist.)
ADVERTISE YOUR MESSAGE IN THE PROGRAM!
Make your voice heard in support of the Levantine Cultural Center's work on behalf of the Middle East/North Africa and our communities in diaspora. Run a full page ad ($350), 1/2 page ($200) or 1/4 page ($150) expressing your message of peace, tribute, or business promotion. Or publish a name listing ($50). We will create your ad for you. Publication full size page is 5.5 x 8.5 inches, half 5.5 x 4.25", quarter 2.25 x 4.25". Call 310.657.5511. Deadline for ad acceptance: Mon., Nov. 25, 3 pm.
If you are driving west on Wilshire Blvd., after you cross under the 405 Fwy., exit Wilshire Blvd to the right and travel down to the first stop sign. Turn right onto Bonsall Avenue and travel uphill to the next stop sign. Then turn left onto Eisenhower Avenue and park as directed by attendants.
If you are traveling east on Wilshire Blvd., you will exit Wilshire Blvd to the right at the Wadsworth Theatre/VA Hospital sign and travel down to the first stop sign. Turn left onto Bonsall Avenue, travel under Wilshire Blvd. At the second stop sign Turn left onto Eisenhower Avenue and as directed by attendants.