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Friday Was the Bomb, Five Years in the Middle East

Event Details
Date/Time: 
Oct 9 2014 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Price: 
Suggested $10 contribution or $15 with a signed copy of the book
Where: 
Levantine Cultural Center
5998 W. Pico Blvd
Los Angeles CA 90035
Between La Cienega and Fairfax
street parking
Subtitle: 
the husband of a foreign correspondent recounts family life in the Middle East

Nathan Deuel is the author of Friday Was the Bomb, Five Years in the Middle East—a memoir about an American family that struggles to find stability in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Lebanon and Turkey amidst political upheaval and personal dilemmas. Deuel will present Friday Was the Bomb at the Levantine Cultural Center on Thursday, Oct. 9, 7 pm. Listen to an NPR interview with Nathan Deuel.

In 2008, Deuel, a former editor at Rolling Stone and The Village Voice, and his wife, a National Public Radio foreign correspondent, moved to the deeply Islamic Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to see for themselves what was happening in the Middle East. There they had a daughter, and later, while his wife filed reports from Baghdad and Syria, car bombs erupted and one night a firefight raged outside the family's apartment in Beirut. Their marriage strained, and they struggled with the decision to stay or go home.

At once a meditation on fatherhood, an unusual memoir of a war correspondent's spouse, and a first-hand account from the front lines of the most historic events of recent days—the Arab Spring, the end of the Iraq war, and the unrest in Syria—Friday Was The Bomb is a searing collection of timely and absorbing essays.

The Good Spy, the CIA and Middle East Peace

Event Details
Date/Time: 
Sep 25 2014 7:30pm - 9:30pm
Price: 
$15 ($12 members/students), $25 with signed book
RSVPs strongly advised, limited seating: 323.413.2001
Click here to reserve your seat/book
Café open for dinner at 6 pm
Where: 
Levantine Cultural Center
5998 W. Pico Blvd
Los Angeles CA 90035
Between La Cienega & Fairfax
street parking
Subtitle: 
an evening with Pulitzer-Prize winning author Kai Bird

In line with the Levantine Cultural Center's exploration of American foreign policy, this forum asks, How does the C.I.A. play a role in the Middle East and North Africa? Was Robert Ames, the subject of Kai Bird's bestselling biography, The Good Spy: The Life and Death of Robert Ames, actually an ambassador for peace, particularly with respect to the Israelis and Palestinians? The book offers a "compelling portrait of the remarkable life and death of one of the most important operatives in CIA history— a man who, had he lived, might have helped heal the rift between Arabs and the West." The forum includes a book signing with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Kai Bird and public Q & A. This forum picks up where our previous forum in March 2014, America's Great Game: The C.I.A. and U.S. Middle East Foreign Policy, left off. 

Read a Washington Post review of The Good Spy

Save the Date, Dec. 13, for Our Year-End Benefit Comedy Show

On Saturday, December 13th, 2014, the Levantine Cultural Center will hold its year-end comedy benefit show with the New Sultans of Satire at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center, in Long Beach. With a special tribute to Robin Williams, this evening brings together the top young Middle Eastern comedians at work together, including Aron Kader (Comedy Central's "Axis of Evil"), Tehran, Sammy Obeid, Marie-Thérèse Abou-Daoud, Sherwin Arae and Melissa Shoshahi. The Levantine Cultural will donate a portion of the proceeds to Kinder USA (Kids in Need of Development, Education, and Relief) to help deserving children in Gaza with medical needs following the summer war. The Levantine Cultural Center works to bridge political and religious divides that may exist between Americans and the Middle East/North Africa, by presenting arts and education programs in the spirit of exploration, discovery and unity.

Proceeds 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.

Arab and Iranian Typography in Local / Not Local

Subtitle: 
June 26 - August 29 at the Inside/Outside Gallery
From a design perspective, what do we really know about the Arab world or Iran? A window into these cultures, which use the Arabic script for writing and design, has opened at the Levantine Cultural Center, which is hosting the exhibtion LOCAL/NOT LOCAL, a modern collection of contemporary Arabic and Iranian typography and calligraphy at the Inside/Outside Gallery. The show opened June 26 and will be on view through August 29, 2014, with a closing event on Thursday, August 28th. Listen to a new podcast on "Local/Not Local" hosted by Arielle Zionts for Radio Tabbouli.
 
These days it seems like everyone's got a favorite font and a philosophy of typography. But it's not just our Roman alphabet that gets translated into different shapes—all over the world, designers pick and choose scripts to suit the occasion. In LOCAL/NOT LOCAL, co-curators Maece Seirafi and Pouya Jahanshahi present a collection of award-winning Arab and Iranian designers who demonstrate the creative possibilities and expressions that lurk in their native alphabets.

"Local/Not Local" Reception for Arab/Iranian California Artists

Event Details
Date/Time: 
Jun 26 2014 6:00pm - 10:00pm
Price: 
Free to the public
Where: 
Inside/Outside Gallery, Levantine Cultural Center
5998 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90035-2657
Between La Cienega & Fairfax
street parking
Subtitle: 
Maece Seirafi and Pouya Jahanshahi co-curate Arab/Iranian typography & design
From a design perspective, what do we really know about the Arab world or Iran?

"Local Not Local" Exhibits Arab & Iranian California Designers-Artists

LOCAL NOT LOCAL PRESENTS NEW WORK OF ARAB & IRANIAN ARTISTS AND
GRAPHIC DESIGNERS AT THE INSIDE/OUTSIDE GALLERY, JUNE 26-AUGUST 29, 2014


[LOS ANGELES-May 29, 2014] From a design perspective, what do we really know about the Arab world, or Iraq's neighbor, Iran? A window into these cultures, which use the Arabic script for writing and design, will open here in Los Angeles on June 26, 2014, when LOCAL NOT LOCAL, a modern collection of contemporary expression, brings Arabic and Iranian typography and calligraphy to the Inside/Outside Gallery at the Levantine Cultural Center. These days it seems like everyone's got a favorite font and a philosophy of typography. But it's not just our Roman alphabet that gets translated into different shapes - all over the world, designers pick and choose scripts to suit the occasion. In LOCAL NOT LOCAL, co-curators Maece Seirafi and Pouya Jahanshahi present a collection of award-winning Arab and Iranian designers who demonstrate the creative possibilities and expressions that lurk in their native alphabets.

America’s Great Game: The C.I.A. and U.S. Middle East Foreign Policy

Subtitle: 
a public forum and book signing on the shaping of the Middle East/North Africa

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 PeaceKPFK 90.7 FM Pacifica Radio is a media sponsor.

America’s Great Game: The C.I.A. and U.S. Middle East Foreign Policy

Event Details
Date/Time: 
Mar 6 2014 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Price: 
Suggested $15 donation ($12 members/students), $30 with signed book
RSVPs strongly advised: 323.413.2001
Click here to reserve your seat/book
Where: 
Westwood Hills Congregational Church
1989 Westwood Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90025
At the corner of La Grange, south of Santa Monica Blvd.
Lot and street parking
Subtitle: 
a public forum and book signing on the shaping of the Middle East/North Africa

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 PeaceKPFK 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 TerrorismSleeping with the Devil: How Washington Sold Our Soul for Saudi Crude; and The Devil We Know: Dealing with the New Iranian SuperpowerRobert Scheer is the editor-in-chief of the online news magazine Truthdig and a regular commentator on KCRW's Left, Right and Center.

Bernard Radfar in Conversation on "Mecca Pimp" with Jordan Elgrably

Event Details
Date/Time: 
Jan 16 2014 7:30pm - 9:00pm
Price: 
Suggested contribution $10 or $16 with autographed copy of "Mecca Pimp"
Where: 
Levantine Cultural Center
5998 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90035
Between La Cienega & Fairfax
Street parking or in the CVS underground lot
(closes at 10 pm!)
Subtitle: 
a literary prankster and satirist discusses life and fiction at the Levantine

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.

L.A.'s Middle East Cultural Arts Center Fêtes 12th Year!

Subtitle: 
our new fiscal year starts July 1st, we seek your support

Can you believe it?!

We are just starting our 12th year serving greater Los Angeles. Don Heckman wrote the first LA Times article about us, positively reviewing our first public program, in a Calendar review published June 25, 2001. (We received another thumbs-up review in December 2001 by theatre critic Don Shirley and many more LA Times articles since.)