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.
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.
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.
With Nahla Kayali, Anthony Saidy, Nagwa Ibrahim, Cheryl Faris and Bassam Marjya, moderator Don Bustany. A panel on refugees, exiles and immigrants from the Arab world discusses integration and assimilation.
This two-part program features a discussion with an early generation of Arab Americans, Anthony Saidy and Cheryl Faris, talking about their parents and grandparents arrival in the United States, and the history of social and cultural contributions that Arab Americans have made, particularly in California (Cousins Club, ADC, KPFK, etc). The second half of the discussion will be with a newer generation of Arab immigrants to California. Nahla Kayali, Nagwa Ibrahim and others will talk about how they reinvented their lives in Southern California. This exploration of history, culture and identity intends to demystify Arab and Arab American society, defuse Islamophobia, and build new bridges among all our communities. The event is free and open to the public. Donations are welcome. Refreshments will be served.
RSVPs welcome, 323.413.2001. "The New Americans: Arabs in California," Levantine Cultural Center, 5998 W. Pico Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90035.
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
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
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.
On Saturday, April 12th, we invite you to participate in an exclusive evening with Lebanese novelist Rabih Alameddine. The program features a delicious dinner and a book reading and conversation. From the author of the international bestseller The Hakawati (The Storyteller) comes an enchanting story of a book-loving, obsessive, seventy-two-year-old "unnecessary" woman with a past shaped by the Lebanese Civil War. Writes the New York Times, "An Unnecessary Woman is a meditation on, among other things, aging, politics, literature, loneliness, grief and resilience. If there are flaws to this beautiful and absorbing novel, they are not readily apparent." Michele Leber in Booklist notes, "Studded with quotations and succinct observations, this remarkable novel by Alameddine is a paean to fiction, poetry, and female friendship. Dip into it, make a reading list from it, or simply bask in its sharp, smart prose."
One of Arab literature's most celebrated voices, Rabih Alameddine follows his bestseller, The Hakawati, and his previous novels I, the Divine and Koolaids with a novel that celebrates the singular life of an obsessive introvert, revealing Beirut's beauties and horrors along the way. Notes National Public Radio, "I can't remember the last time I was so gripped simply by a novel's voice. Alameddine makes it clear that a sheltered life is not necessarily a shuttered one. Aaliya is thoughtful, she's complex, she's humorous and critical."
General seating for this dinner event is $25 ($20 LCC members), or $50 with a signed copy of An Unnecessary Woman. Dinner includes mezze, main course and soft drink/water, coffee or tea. Seating is limited and advance reservations are strongly advised. Call 323.413.2001 or book online.
On Thursday, April 10th, see this exciting, very funny show, laugh with six Middle Eastern American stand-up comedians to humor that is satirical and universal.
Ava Nahas world percussion series for the doumbek (Arab tabla) at the Levantine Cultural Center is a two-day workshop to harness the power, style and artistry of the doumbek, a singular and essential drum in the panoply of Arabic music, from Morocco to Iraq. Sat., March 29, 11:30 am-1:30 pm and Sun., March 30, 1:30-3:30 pm. Ava Nahas is a world percussionist who performs with MESTO, Bedouin-X and her own world music ensemble. She teaches at Remo and other studios around the southland. Visit her Facebook page.
Register early by March 15th and save, just $65 for both workshops or $40 for one; regular price $85 for both; $50 for one. You can register by phone, call the LCC, 323.413.2001 or email email@example.com with "Ava Nahas" in the subject and include your phone number. Still have questions? Contact Ava directly, 310.433.3531.