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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.

"May in the Summer" with Cherien Dabis

Event Details
Date/Time: 
Aug 14 2014 7:00pm - 9:30pm
Price: 
Free to the public, RSVPs required
Call 323.413.2001 or email to RSVP
Where: 
Pacific Design Center's Silver Screen Theatre
8687 Melrose Ave
West Hollywood CA 90069
Lot parking, enter from Melrose just east of San Vicente
Subtitle: 
film screening and conversation

The Levantine Cultural Center and Cohen Media Group invite you to an exclusive preview of Cherien Dabis' new film May in the Summer, which follows sophisticated New Yorker and Arab American May Brennan to her childhood home of Amman, Jordan for her wedding. To all appearances, May (Cherien Dabis) has it all — she's intelligent, gorgeous, the recipient of raves for her recently published book and set to marry her loving fiancé Ziad (Alexander Siddig), a distinguished New York scholar. But immediately upon returning to her familial hometown for the wedding, the cracks in her seemingly perfect life begin to show. Star and writer/director Cherien Dabis will attend in person. A Q & A follows the screening (99ms). Seating limited, RSVPs required to 323.413.2001 or email your first/last name, phone and number of guests (up to 4) to rsvp@levantinecenter.org. We recommend you plan to arrive early to park and get into the theatre. Enter lot from Melrose, just east of San Vicente.

More About the Film

May's headstrong, born-again Christian mother Nadine (Hiam Abbass) disapproves of Ziad's Muslim faith and is firm in her decision to not attend the ceremony. Her sisters Dalia (Alia Shawkat) and Yasmine (Nadine Malouf) revert to behaving like rebellious teenagers as their estranged father Edward (Bill Pullman) awkwardly attempts to make amends. Confronted with the wounds of her parent's long-broken relationship, coupled with the unavoidable clash of old-world and modern values, May is lead to question the direction her life is taking. Her once carefully structured world appears to unravel as she grapples with her own truths in this fresh, exotic look at a woman caught in the crossroads between tradition and choice.

May in the Summer, written and directed by Cherien Dabis (Amreeka), stars Dabis, Alia Shawkat, Nadine Malouf, Ritu Singh Pande, Hiam Abbass and Bill Pullman. The film was produced by Dabis, Alix Madigan-Yorkin and Christopher Tricarico.

Sultans of Satire: Middle East Comic Relief with Tehran & Friends

Event Details
Date/Time: 
Jun 27 2014 8:00pm - 10:30pm
Price: 
$15 if purchased by 6/25/$20 thereafter
RSVPs strongly advised: 323.413.2001
Click here to buy tickets
Where: 
Levantine Cultural Center & Café
5998 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90035
Between La Cienega & Fairfax
street parking
Subtitle: 
Black and Persian! Arab and hilarious! An irreverent comedy show...

Limited seating for this long-running and inspired comedy show-come enjoy a healthy dose of comic relief, laugh about life and the Middle East with one of L.A's hotte

Café Arabesque IV with Bedouin-X & Special Guests

Event Details
Date/Time: 
Apr 26 2014 8:00pm - 11:00pm
Price: 
$18 advance/$15 members/students; $20 at the door; doors open 7:00 pm
RSVPs strongly advised, 323.413.2001
Click here to buy tickets
Middle Eastern & Moroccan food served in café
Where: 
Levantine Cultural Center's Café Arabesque
5998 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90035-2657
Between La Cienega & Fairfax
street parking
Subtitle: 
Al-Fareed and his cohorts perform authentic North African/Arab music, dancers welcome!

A beautiful night of inspired music awaits you when the Levantine Cultural Center presents the fourth edition of Café Arabesque with Al-Fareed of Radio Al-Fareed and his band Bedouin-X.

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.

Sultans of Satire: Middle East Comic Relief!

Event Details
Date/Time: 
Jan 24 2014 8:00pm - 10:30pm
Price: 
$15 advance ($12 members), $18 at the door
RSVPs strongly advised: 323.413.2001
Click here to buy tickets
Where: 
Levantine Cultural Center
5998 W. Pico Blvd
Los Angeles CA 90035
Between La Cienega & Fairfax
street parking
Subtitle: 
headliner Mike Batayeh

Limited seating for this long-running and inspired comedy show—come enjoy a healthy dose of comic relief, laugh about life and the Middle East with one of L.A's hottest comedy troupes, the Sultans of Satire. Hosted by Sheno Khal, this show features several of the funniest young comedians on the circuit today. Headliner MIKE BATAYEH, with K-Von, Marie-Thérèse Abou-Daoud, Omid Singh, Melissa Shoshahi and, joining the Sultans for the first time, DJ Sandhu! Come early, have dinner in the café, spend a warm evening with us...

The Sultans of Satire are seriously funny—if you need to laugh, you'll appreciate this show with its satirical insights and fresh perspectives on American and Middle Eastern life. The humor is universal; the comedans hail from the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia. Founded in 2005, The Sultans of Satire is the longest-running Middle Eastern stand-up comedy show in the U.S. with some of the best young stand-up comedians from diverse faiths. This show cosponsored by Freedom Theatre West. Show $15 general admission, $12 members, $18 at the door. Middle Eastern and North African dishes, signature drinks and more served by Café Rumi. Tickets/info 323.413.2001. Watch video clips at sultansofsatire.com.

Café Arabesque III with Bedouin-X & Amadou Fall

Event Details
Date/Time: 
Dec 14 2013 8:00pm - 11:00pm
Price: 
$18 advance/$15 members/students/seniors or with postcard; $20 at the door; doors open 7:30 pm
RSVPs strongly advised, 323.413.2001
Click here to buy tickets
Where: 
Levantine Cultural Center's Café Arabesque
5998 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90035-2657
Between La Cienega & Fairfax
street parking
Subtitle: 
Al-Fareed and his cohorts perform authentic North African/Arab music, dancers welcome!

"'Arabesque' was out of this world amazing. We enjoyed it very much and can't wait for the encore." —Laila El-Hajoui 

"Great event at the Levantine Cultural Center Saturday night...the music took my soul on a beautiful journey." —Nancy Tedder 

"Synergy! Amadou Fall mesmerizes playing the African Kora.." 

The Levantine Cultural Center presents the much-awaited third edition of Café Arabesque with Al-Fareed of Radio Al-Fareed and his band Bedouin X. The band members are Alfred Madain, David Markowitz, Timothy Maloof, David Martinelli and Ava Nahas. There will be a very special guest performance to open the evening by West African kora player Amadou Fall from Senegal. Tickets are $18 general admission, $15 for LCC members, students/seniors, $20 at the door. Reserve early, this program will sell out (standing room only in that case): 323.413.2001. 

Sultans of Satire, Middle East Comic Relief!

Event Details
Date/Time: 
Nov 30 2013 8:00pm - 11:00pm
Price: 
$15 general admission/$12 members
RSVPs strongly advised: 323.413.2001
Click here to buy tickets
Where: 
Levantine Cultural Center/Café Rumi
5998 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90035
Between La Cienega & Fairfax
Street parking after 6 pm
Subtitle: 
with headliner Mike Batayeh, hosted by Sheno Khal

Limited seating for this long-running and inspired comedy show-come enjoy a healthy dose of comic relief, laugh about life and the Middle East with one of L.A's hottest comedy troupes, the Sultans of Satire, in a special performance featuring headliner Mike Batayeh. Hosted by Sheno Khal, this show features Marie-Thérèse Abou-Daoud, Noël Elgrably, Mona Shaikh and Omid Singh.