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Persian Gulf

Reza Aslan Presents New Anthology

Event Details
Nov 9 2010 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Free to the public, reservations recommended. RSVP here
Mark Taper Auditorium
Los Angeles Central Library
630 W. Fifth Street (at Fifth & Flower)
Los Angeles CA 90071
underground parking
Tablet and Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Middle East

Tablet and PenTablet and PenReza Aslan, a national advisory board member of the Levantine Cultural Center, introduces a new anthology of Middle Eastern literature, Tablet & Pen, as part of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles' award-winning Aloud at Central Library series at the downtown library. RSVP.

This anthology spans the years 1910-2010 and showcasing the tumultuous changes in literary culture across the Middle East and South Asia, ranging from the renaissance of Arabic literature to Urdu writing after partition. Included are familiar names such as Khalil Gibran, Orhan Pamuk, and Naguib Mahfouz as well as many extraordinary writers and works that have never before been translated into English. 

A celebratory reading with Aimee Bender, Howard Gordon, Heather Graham, Evan Handler, Jaime Ray Newman, Sholeh Wolpe, Gideon Yago, and Necar Zadegan. Followed by a book sale and signing.

With traditional Persian music by Hamid Saeidi, hosted by Reza Aslan.

RSVP here. Directions/parking.

Persian Gulf Trio Presents Crossroads Concert in Los Angeles

The Shanbehzadeh Ensemble at the Troubadour
Shanbehzadeh performing live at the TroubadourShanbehzadeh performing live at the TroubadourBy Omid Arabian

"I didn't expect this kind of reception," musician Saeid Shanbehzadeh told a small but adoring crowd cheering him on at the Troubador, "based on what I had seen from Persian TV." One can see why, given that his music is such a far cry from the hip-hop-infused bubble-gum pop that permeates the Iranian channels here in L.A. Mr. Shanbehzadeh hails from the southern part of Iran—the gulf town of Boushehr, to be exact—and the sound he and his ensemble brought to Los Angeles on Oct 24th, 2010 is the essence of traditional 'Bandari' (Persian Gulf) music: by turns rhythmic and fluid, wistful and passionate, meditative and exhilarating. It's also reflective of the region's long, rich history as a cultural crossroads: infused with strong African, Arab, and even Indian elements.

The Shanbehzadeh Ensemble, Live

Event Details
Oct 24 2010 7:30pm
$35 in advance, or $40 at the door
Click here to purchase tickets.
The Troubador in W. Hollywood
9081 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
The Shanbehzadeh Ensemble offers a unique aspect of hypnotic dances and traditional music from the Persian Gulf and more precisely from the unknown region of Boushehr.

Saeid Shanbehzadeh: Neyanbânn, Neydjofti, Traditional Dances
Naghib Shanbehzadeh: Tombak, Zarbetempo
Habib Meftah Boushehri: Dammâm, Zarbetempo, Flute.

The Shanbehzadeh trio, with its driving rhythms, trance-inducing songs, and hip-swinging dances, offers a rare opportunity to experience the fascinating music and dance of the southern Iranian province of Boushehr in the Persian Gulf. A cultural crossroads for centuries, Boushehr has been influenced by Sufi, Persian, Arab, African and Indian traditions. 
 Shanbehzadeh EnsembleShanbehzadeh Ensemble 

Iraq in Pieces: Seven Years Later

Hadani Ditmars returns to find a broken Baghdad, still reeling from sectarian divisions and facing an uncertain future.
By Hadani Ditmars

I am back in Baghdad after seven years away.

Since 2003, a million people have died in Iraq in the wake of post-invasion violence. (1) Sectarian wars have torn the country apart, foreign troops have established huge military bases, and politicians who have sworn to crack down on militias have their own private armies. This once secular nation has been scarred by extremism, with terrible consequences for women, gay people and religious minorities. As government ministries remain feeding troughs for cronyism and sectarian patronage, national reconciliation remains elusive.

May 27 Public Forum on Cultural Diplomacy Addresses Americans, Arabs/Muslims


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.

Destiny Disrupted

A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes

By Tamim Ansary

Review by Tara Marie Good

A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes: your purchase benefits in part Levantine Cultural CenterA History of the World Through Islamic Eyes: your purchase benefits in part Levantine Cultural CenterIn 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.

Amnesty Int'l Secretary General Irene Kahn on the Goldstone Report, Peace, Poverty, Human Rights

Event Details
Oct 28 2009 7:00am - 9:30pm
Free, reservations recommended
Mark Taper Auditorium, Los Angeles Central Public Library
Fifth and Flower Streets
Downtown Los Angeles
Underground garage $1 until 8:45 pm
with Los Angeles Public Library card validation

ALOUD and the Vesper Society present Irene Khan, on "The Unheard Truth: Poverty and Human Rights." She will in conversation with David Kaye. Executive Director, UCLA School of Law International Human Rights Program

"Severe Clear" Doc From Soldier's POV Shows Kuwait, Iraq

Event Details
Aug 7 2009 12:00pm - Aug 13 2009 9:30pm
$11-$14. Showtimes vary from Aug 7-13 during Docuweeks.
Arclight Cinemas
6360 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90028

Severe Clear docSevere Clear doc

The International Documenary Association presents the Docuweeks festival during August 2009.


Director/Writer: Kristian Fraga
Producer: Kristian Fraga, Marc Perez
Executive Producers: Benjamin Charbit, John L. Sikes

U.S.A | 93 min.

Armed with the world's most lethal ordnance and his home video camera, First Lieutenant Michael T. Scotti takes us on an epic first-person journey with the Marine Corps as they fight their way 300 miles from Kuwait to Baghdad. No Reporters...No Politics...No Censors...This is what he saw.

Click here for showtimes/tix.