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
The function of art—one of the functions of art—consists in bringing spiritual [geistigen] peace to humanity. I believe one cannot characterise the state of consciousness in contemporary art any better than by saying: more and more people are becoming conscious that spiritual peace is not enough because it has never prevented, nor could it ever prevent, real strife, and that perhaps one of the functions of art today is also to contribute to real peace - a function that cannot be foisted upon art, but must lie in the essence of art itself.
—Herbert Marcuse, Society as a Work of Art
[Doha, Qatar]—Cai Guo-Quiang's exhibit in Doha was exquisite. Incorporating techniques from Islamic artistic heritage such as miniature paintings, Saraab ("mirage"), the celebrated artist's inaugural solo exhibition in the Arab world creatively synthesised the hitherto unexplored historical and cultural dynamics of the Arab Gulf and China.
On Saturday, March 19, Women's Voices Now presents the final day of the Women's Voices from the Muslim World: A Short-Film Festival. The event will include screenings of a multitude of amazing and empowering films along with roundtable discussions and a book reading and signing. Topics include: girls in the Muslim world, health taboos in the Middle East, and women at work, among others. The event will wrap up with an awards ceremony and closing benefit.
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.
Contact: Jordan Elgrably, Nile El Wardani, Elie Karam
Levantine Cultural Center
310.657.5511 or 310.402.8866
[Los Angeles, May 20, 2010] Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's top aide, Special Representative to Muslim Communities Farah Pandith, will speak in a public forum on cultural diplomacy organized by the Levantine Cultural Center on Thursday, May 27, 2010, at 7 pm at the Mark Taper Auditorium in downtown Los Angeles.
The "clash of civilization" dialectic and the "war on terror" discourse require Americans to broaden our international outreach, to improve understanding of the Arab/Muslim world. In fact, the alchemy of change requires that we empathize with narratives that may differ from our own; and sometimes these narratives are strikingly similar. Cultural diplomacy efforts use the arts to address communities in conflict-or groups that appear to have opposing interests whether because of different religious traditions, political beliefs or ethnic identification.
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.