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

Event Details
Feb 27 2015 6:00pm - Mar 28 2015 10:00pm
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 opens February 27 and runs through March 28. A reception for the artist takes 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.

Writing for Peace: A Creative Writing Workshop

Event Details
Jun 20 2010 1:00pm - 5:00pm
$40 in advance, $45 at the door ($36 members with advance RSVP)
Click here to buy tickets
Levantine Cultural Center
5998 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90035
Street parking
Located equidistant between Fairfax and La Cienega
War, Peace & the Path to Freedom, with Elana Golden
a creative writing workshopa creative writing workshop

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.