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.
I literally stumbled across the Levantine Cultural Center one day while walking to an Ethiopian restaurant in West Hollywood. I saw it from the corner with the words "Bridging Cultures, Building Peace since 2001" written across the door, and I knew I had to go inside. I took information and offered to intern with them a few days later. This was just after having returned to America from two years abroad in southern Spain.
By Jessica Proett
During Easter Week in Spain, amid processions of Jesus swaying through cobblestone streets, a group of Muslim tourists knelt down on the marble floors of Cordoba's Mezquita. They began reciting verses from the Qur'an, their voices echoing off the multitude of red and white arches, until a security guard attempted to enforce the ban on Muslim prayer and was met with a punch in the face and a knife wound in his hand. The incident resulted in two arrests, two starkly different stories from the opposing sides in the scuffle, and a rapid-fire media frenzy and equally prolific blog-dialogue that is still snowballing.
The Yuval Ron Ensemble will perform mystical music and dance of the Middle East. Celebrating the ancient cultures of the three Abrahamic faiths, this concert features musical director Yuval Ron on oud and Norik Manoukian on duduk and woodwinds, with Palestinian vocalist Najwa Gibran, and folkloric dancers Maya Karasso and Miriam Peretz.
Tickets available at the Middle East Ministry Table on Sundays or call 626.583.2734 and speak to Norma Sigmund.
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.
Reviewed by Omid Arabian
Hamed Nikpay, the Iranian singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, brought his unique brand of flamenco-infused Persian music to the Wilshire Ebell Theatre on October 3rd. Mr. Nikpay is blessed with a powerful voice that—though it lacks the velvety richness of Nazeri’s or the theatricality of Namjoo’s—can bring the house down with its sheer force. For most of the evening, however, Mr. Nikpay stopped short of going full-blast, preferring instead to showcase his admittedly impressive control and impeccable musicality. This made for a show that, though long on beauty and class, was also a bit short on passion—despite the flamenco flavor.
Levantine Cultural Center participated in the 8th annual West Hollywood Book Fair, Sunday October 4th, 2009 with a booth featuring authors and musicians/peformers, and a panel discussion with Tamim Ansary and Reza Aslan.
For the past seven years, this event has attracted many avid readers and book enthusiasts alike. Over 400 authors and artists will be in attendance during the 2009 edition of the WeHo Book Fair, with some 100 discussion panels, book signings, writing workshops, poetry readings, storytelling and theatre. As ever, there will be a children’s area to entertain kids.
Come visit the Levantine Cultural Center’s booth (# E47-48, located in “The Field”), where we will have a comfortable lounge area to relax in, interesting books, CDs and DVDs available for purchase and some free goodies for those who come by. We will also be hosting a number of book/CD/DVD signings with authors and musicians:
Using film, music and scholarship, on August 5th, speakers will explore the Mizrahim (Eastern Jews):
Songs of Wounded Kinship, a Review of the Town Hall, New York City, ASWAT concert of March 7, 2009
By David Shasha
Poet and scholar Ammiel Alcalay once appropriated the apt phrase "wounded kinship's last resort" in describing the role that music has played in maintaining what little connection is left between Arab Jews and their Middle Eastern compatriots. The place of the master musician Simon Shaheen in this complicated and contested relationship cannot be underestimated. Not only has Shaheen recorded many albums of classic Arabic music, as well as contemporary readings of the tradition, but he has also participated in many of the musical events that have over the years taken place in the Brooklyn Sephardic community. In private homes and synagogues, we have become familiar with the magical art of Simon Shaheen's mastery of this brilliant musical tradition.