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Khaliji and Middle Eastern Jazz Concert

Event Details
Jul 25 2015 7:30pm - 10:30pm
$25 general, $35 preferred reserved seating, $75 VIP front section & gift bag
Seating limited RSVPs strongly advised: 323.413.2001
Click here to buy tickets
Pico Union Project
1153 Valencia St
Los Angeles CA 90015
near downtown Los angeles
Naser Musa and Souren Baronian ensembles raise funds for the new Markaz

"Like two chemicals that flare upon touching, [Baronian's] music is a remarkable hybrid of two cultures."
—Boston Herald American 

"From the first rich resonant tones of Naser Musa's oud it is rare to find such an exotic variety of rhythms and songs together...capturing the heart and soul of its cultural source. The [songs] all feature Naser Musa's smooth talent on vocals and each is uniquely different, with many subtleties and changes that make listening a satisfying pleasure." —Mesmera

A beautiful concert for dancers and music lovers...Leave your worldly cares at the door, join us for a magical journey that weaves traditional Middle Eastern melodies and song with contemporary fusion compositions from Souren Baronian. Then travel along the Silk Road to the Gulf and listen to the desert music of the Bedouins known as khaliji, passionate songs of the Gulf Arabs, performed by oud master and vocalist Naser Musa and his ensemble. Naser Musa, Souren Baronian and friends perform to help raise funds for the new arts center for the greater Middle East, The Markaz (the center). One night only! Tickets just $25 General Admission/$35 Preferred, or $75 VIP front row seating plus a gift bag.

This is a benefit concert to support the new Arts Center for the Greater Middle East, The Markaz. Come enjoy the best of the best in Los Angeles and contribute to a worthy cause, The Markaz, fighting bias and intolerance, building a stronger Arab, Iranian, Middle Eastern community center.

NASER MUSA is recognized by critics of Middle Eastern music as a talented singer, a gifted songwriter, an oud virtuoso, an award winning composer, and a versatile studio musician. He has composed, arranged, and recorded numerous projects in the Middle East and in the United States. His recordings include the Arabia sound track; Khaliji, a collection of folk songs from the Arabian Gulf region; and Christmas and Beyond, a collection of Western Christmas carols and Arabic church hymns. Naser Musa appears on dozens of albums, including contributions on projects for Hollywood with John Debney and John Cameron among others. He has recorded with pop stars Shakira, Beyonce and Michael Sembello, and has shared the stage with Lebanese vocalists, Sabah and Ragheb Alame, and Egyptian vocalists, Hani Shaker and Hakim. Naser's oud was heard on the soundtrack of the film The Passion of the Christ by director Mel Gibson. 

SOUREN BARONIAN grew up in Spanish Harlem riding two powerful currents of his creativity: his ethnic Armenian heritage, and jazz. His own music is an authentic organic hybrid of those two idioms. The sound of his band is truly unique, applying a jazz vocabulary and the bebop sensibility of Charlie Parker and Lester Young to Middle Eastern rhythms on traditional instruments such as the oud, qanun, G-clarinet and percussions. 

Salma Arastu, "One," An Exhibition in the Spirit of Rumi

Event Details
Feb 27 2015 6:00pm - May 8 2015 6:00pm
Free to the public
Inside/Outside Gallery
Levantine Cultural Center
5998 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90035
Between La Cienega & Fairfax
street parking
25 paintings in the spirit of Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī

The Inside/Outside Gallery in partnership is pleased to present "One," 25 new and recent works by independent artist Salma Arastu, in the spirit of poet Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī—paintings that reflect external beauty and an internal desire for peace. The exhibition opened February 27 and has been extended through May 8. A reception for the artist took place Friday, Feb. 27, 6 to 10 pm. Gallery hours are 10 am-6 pm and by appointment. This exhibition is an initiative of Muslims for Progressive Values and is cosponsored by MPV.

"Have you ever heard the rippling sound of waters, humming winds and thundering clouds? Have you watched the hands of a tabla man and the moving feet of a Bharat Natyam dancer? Have you ever felt the urge of pure love, the satisfaction of sharing and giving? That same rhythm, rich classical music, selfless love or a moonlit night, I wish I could absorb and not miss a single detail then pour it all on my canvas." —Salma Arastu 

This exhibit is entitled "One" in honor of Salma Arastu's mother, who inspired her deeply. ""My mother, a very spiritual person, believed in one God, who is the source of all life on this earth and beyond. Even though she was a practicing Hindu, she often said that we are the children of the same God and there is no difference between Hindus, Muslims, Christians or Jews. I am grateful to her for planting those thoughts in my young mind as today I am married to a Muslim and I have crossed the boundaries of religions." 

Salma Arastu is San Francisco Bay Area painter, sculptor and poet who born in Rajasthan, India. She has been creating and exhibiting her paintings internationally since graduating with a Masters degree in Fine Arts from MS University, Baroda, India in 1975. Her work with continuous and lyrical line is influenced by her native culture and her residence after marriage in Iran and Kuwait before coming to the US in 1987.

Born into the Sindhi, Hindu tradition in her native India, she later embraced Islam through her marriage. At birth, Ms. Arastu was given the life-defining challenge of a left hand without fingers. Seeing the unity of an all-encompassing God, she was able to transcend the barriers often set-forth in the traditions of religion, culture and the cultural perceptions of handicap.

Jack G. Shaheen remembers 40 years of deconstrcting Arab sterotypes

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.

"A is For Arab" Displays ABCs of American Media & Pop Culture Stereotypes

For Immediate Release
Please Contact Kameron Myles
DEC. 1-31, 2012, RECEPTION DEC. 19, 7 PM

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,

[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.

Beyond "Arab Spring" & "Arab Rage," A Thriving Arab Market

Event Details
Oct 18 2012 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door
$40 with a signed book.
Students with I.D., $10
Click here to buy tickets
Iman Cultural Center
3376 Motor Ave., Los Angeles CA 90034
Parking lot, street parking
Vijay Mahajan opens the door to marketing and business in the Arab world today

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.


THU, OCT. 18, 2012, 7 PM

"...what really makes the book is its immediacy. The author is not afraid to get his boots dirty. His research took him to...areas where foreigners do not normally go, such as south Beirut. He spoke not only to business leaders but also to ordinary people in the streets and shops." —LA Times

Arab Documentary on Theatre Stands Out in Festival

Shakespeare's "Richard III" as seen through Arab eyes
By Omid Arabian, Film Editor

The 15th annual Arab Film Festival made its way from the San Francisco area to Los Angeles for the fourth time on the weekend of October 21, bringing a wide range of narrative and documentary features and shorts. While much of the hoopla revolved around the opening night and centerpiece film (Mohamed Amin's Egyptian Maidens) as well as epics like Rachid Bouchareb's Outside the Law, other films played to smaller but equally enthusiastic audiences.

Cheering a Muslim as we do a Murderer

the creator of the 99 calls for positive Muslim role models
By Naif Al-Mutawa

Last weekend, millions of Americans (and I) tuned in to watch the premiere of the sixth season of Showtime's Dexter. The show's protagonist is a serial killer who follows a personal code of harming only those who have harmed others. Fans of the show identify with him, wondering who his next victim will be and hoping he doesn't get caught by the police.

Imam's Book on Islam Forges New Vision for Muslims, West

Feisal Rauf has become one of the nation's most visible interfaith leaders since the Park51 controversy last summer
By Stephen Rohde

At the center of last summer's overheated controversy that became misleadingly known as the "Ground Zero Mosque" was Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, now on a national speaking tour including a stop in Los Angeles at Royce Hall on May 4th, 2011.

Newt Gingrich compared Rauf and other supporters of the Muslim community center and mosque, to be built several blocks from the site of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, to "Nazis" who have no "right to put up a sign next to the holocaust museum in Washington."

Arab Film Festival in Los Angeles

Event Details
Oct 22 2010 6:30pm - Oct 24 2010 10:00pm
$15 general admission (reception 6:30 pm, film at 8)
Writers Guild of America
135 S. Doheny Drive
Beverly Hills CA 90211
parking across the street $3 after 6 pm
Films run from Fri through Sun


A scene from "Masquerades"A scene from "Masquerades"The 14th annual Arab Film Festival, celebrating its fourth year in Los Angeles, will open with a feature film by Lyes Salem (Algeria 2008, 90 min). "Masquerades" was Algeria's 2009 official entry for the 2009 Academy Awards, and winner of many prestigious awards including Best Feature at the Dubai International Film Festival, and Best Arabic Film at the Cairo International Film Festival.

All-access pass to films Fri-Sun is $65. Purchase online here.