The Levantine Cultural Center presents an evening devoted to the exploration of contemporary Turkey, first with the documentary screening of Başlangıç (The Beginning), a new film that tells the story of the Gezi Park anti-government protests which gripped Istanbul, Turkey from May 2013. What began as an occupation of a central Istanbul park by environmental protesters angry at plans to develop it into a shopping center, quickly developed into nationwide protests against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his increasingly conservative Islamic policies. Directed by Serkan Koç, produced by Dominic Brown, the film is sure to spark conversation as the unrest in Turkey continues.
After the screening the audience is invited to enjoy a concert of Turkish music in English and Turkish (every ticket includes a complementary arak, or raki). The Istanbul singer known as Kutsal along with Burak Besir will perform a one-hour show. In addition to some of Kutsal's original material, Kutsal & Burak will also be singing some protest songs from the 70's & 80's period of Turkiye & US, songs that underscore the uprising soul of the documentary. The duo will also be covering pop/rock songs from the same era. Guest singer/violinist Elif Savas Felsen will be accompanying Kutsal & Burak on some of the songs.
Come participate in a dynamic Middle East rhythm and drum circle, facilitated by Rowan Storm, Saturday from 1:30 -3:30 pm, Feb. 8, 2014 (repeats on March 15, 2014). Beginners welcome. For all ages. Family friendly. Various hand drums and percussion provided, or bring your own. The Levantine Cultural Center is located at 5998 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles 90035 between La Cienega and Fairfax. Info/reservations 323.413.2001 or just show up. Grab a drum or bring your own and join the fun! Visit carpetconcert.com or rowanstorm.com.
Suggested contribution Part One ~ Basic Lesson: $10. Part Two ~ Rhythm Circle: $10. Suggested contribution for both parts: $15.
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.
An evening of Turkish rock, folk and traditional fasil (tavern music) from Turkey spans the European and Asian continents and is a bridge culture between east and west. With Kutsal, co-starring Burak Besir. Kutsal is an Istanbul rocker with four recordings to her credit who also sings local folk/fasil songs; Band Twenty7 is a 3-piece world music/rock band based in Los Angeles that plays modern rock with a fusion of ethnic music influences. The band sings original songs in both English and Turkish and some traditional Turkish cover songs with an added funk rock beat. Kutsal and Twenty7 will rock the house with an acoustic concert. Tickets are $15 ($18 at the door) and include a complimentary glass of arak (raki). Enjoy mezzes and an eclectic menu of Middle Eastern food and drink items in Café Rumi.
a mural project including life-size portraits of all the greats
The Levantine Cultural Center has unveiled The HEROES OF THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA mural initiative, which proposes to create a large mural depicting cultural icons such as Rumi, Khalil Gibran, Fairuz, Naguib Mahfouz and other poets, writers, filmmakers, musicians and artists who are symbols of peace through the arts.
Attorney Reem Salahi and filmmaker Faisal Attrache join forces to talk about their recent trips to Syria, Jordan and Turkey where they visited with refugees from Syria's uprising. Reem Salahi will report back on her recent trip to northwestern Syria, where she visited camps for internally displaced Syrians, villages in "liberated" Syria including Kafranbel, Saraqeb and Ma'arat Numan (in Idlib province) and local organizations and activists. Faisal Attrache, who is shooting the documentary "Walk-Ins Welcome: Stories of Syrian Refugee Barbers," about Syrian refugees in the Zaatari camp in Jordan, will join the conversation with recent photos and video.
The Levantine Cultural Center presents a happy night of great music, song, food and friends, all for the fair price of a red ticket. In Istanbul a night on the town could include stopping in at the traditional Turkish meyhane (tavern) for some mezze (Turkish appetizers) and raki (arak) accompanied by live music, song and dance. This is what is known as fasil. Experience some non-traditional fasil in L.A. with delicious mezze, rake, the bedeviling oud of Dmitris Mahlis and songs by Serpil Borazan and Kutsal, with musical guest artists including Emad Shakouri on kanun and TJ Troy on percussion. Fasil music, in its diversity, spans influences from Asian folk to modern pop. You'll get to see a live performance and experience for yourself the cultural mixtures of Istanbuli sounds.
Red tickets $25 in advance, $30 at the door, includes mezze and a glass of raki. Doors open 8 pm, music begins 8:30, two sets, but who's counting the time? RSVPs 323.413.2001.
On Tuesday, June 18, 7 pm the Levantine Cultural Center will present a public forum and press conference on uprisings taking place in Turkey.