What do we understand about contemporary Egypt now after several years have passed since the Tahrir Square Revolution of 2011? With the fall of Hosni Mubarak, the election of Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi, his ouster and the subsequent takeover of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), and the imposition of General Abdel Fatah al-Sisi as Egypt's new president, the landscape continues to rumble beneath Egyptian feet.
Egyptian-born French American novelist Juliana Maio has written a novel, City of the Sun, that connects many of the roots of today's turmoil to World War II, with the Axis-Allied struggle for control of the Suez Canal, and the early history of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Drawing from her Egyptian-Jewish heritage and personal experience as a refugee and immigrant, Maio's City of the Sun delivers a powerful story with a host of intriguing characters, from spies to scientists within Cairo's Jewish community. The novel follows Mickey Connolly, an American journalist who is in Cairo to report on the war in North Africa in 1941. Mixing true historical events with a fictional story of love and espionage, Maio creates a poignant tale, while painting an accurate portrait of a pivotal moment in history.
Ms. Maio will present her novel at the Levantine Cultural Center in conversation with Egyptian-born political science professor Nubar Hovsepian, on Thursday, Oct. 2, 7 pm. All welcome for what is sure to be a scintillating conversation linking Egypt's past and its relationships with the United States, Israel and the Palestinians with today's current events. Visit Juliana Maio's web site. Cover $10 or $15 with signed copy of the book. Café open for dinner as of 6 pm.
"Mars at Sunrise is a thoughtful and inventive look at a seemingly endless war." —Jeanette Catsoulis, The New York Times
New Voices in Middle Eastern Cinema presents writer-director Jessica Habie's Mars At Sunrise (2013, 75 ms) is the story of a war waged on imagination. A painter's resistance, courage and spirit can never be imprisoned in this highly stylized story of the conflict of two frustrated artists on either side of Israel's militarized borders. Inspired by the creative journey of renowned Palestinian artist in exile Hani Zurob and on true stories and testimonies from the region, we witness expression, confinement, torture, jealousy, courage and freedom as both artists from each culture strive to paint a picture of life surrounded by conflict.
Mars at Sunrise stars Ali Suliman as Khaled, Golden Globe Winner for Best Foreign Film 2005, Paradise Now; Guy El Hanan as Eyal, an Israeli radio personality and an accomplished playwright; and Haale Gafori as Azzadeh, a singer based in Brooklyn and author of the film's original poetry. The soundtrack features six languages (English, Hebrew, Russian, Yiddish, Farsi and Arabic) and was produced by Tamir Muskat of the Balkan Beat Box, and featuring original music by Itamar Ziegler and Mohsen Subhi.
Jessica Habie will participate in a conversation immediately following the screening. This program sponsored in part by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (goldenglobes.org).
$10 general admission/$7 members and students. RSVPS strongly advised as seating is limited: 323.413.2001.
Sheana Ochoa, author of the first biography of theatre and acting legend Stella Adler (Stella! Mother of Modern Acting, with a foreword by Mark Ruffalo), will moderate a discussion about the changing craft of acting. The panel features two contemporary young actors of Middle Eastern heritage, influenced by Stella Adler's teachings, Mojean Aria and Thom Bishops; an acting coach who studied extensively with Stella, Marjorie Ballentine; and a casting director formed by the New York theatre world, April Webster. The program will be a dialogue among the panelists about the evolution of acting from the early 20th century until today, and a look at how actors of Middle Eastern heritage are fitting in, despite potential barriers in the business.
Tickets are $15, or $28 with a copy of the hardback biography, Stella! Mother Modern Acting (no one turned away for lack of funds). The café is open as of 6 pm serving delicious authentic Moroccan and Middle Eastern cuisine.
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.
Join us in the Levantine café for vibrant, laugh-out-loud readings and frank talk when we present two groundbreaking anthologies, written by American Muslims on the intersection of their identitie
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
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
The Levantine Cultural Center is jazzed to present an evening of lively jazz groove with visiting New York ensemble TALAT, and guest star Zane Musa, a brilliant saxophone artist. One night only, not to be missed, seating is limited, we suggest reserving early.
A quartet of accomplished musicians led by Alon Nechushtan, TALAT plays original interpretations of klezmer, Middle Eastern grooves and African themes and spirituals, roaming between the borders of jazz, groove and improvisation. With piano, trumpet, saxophone, bass and percussion, TALAT offers improvised interludes, riveting solos and spontaneous team play. Combined with familiar riffs and lively rhythms, they create music that is as challenging as it is appealing. Bandleader and pianist Alon Nechushtan is a graduate of the New England Conservatory and the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, and the recipient of numerous awards and grants. The band's debut recording on the prestigious Tzadik label earned accolades from music critics around the world. TALAT has toured in the US, Europe and the Middle East, and this is their L.A. debut.