Women Bought and Sold: Voices United Against Violence—a weekend film salon showcasing short films by women of the Arab/Muslim world—aims to portray a deeper understanding of the worldwide issue of sexualized violence against women. Subjects broached in this film salon weekend include trafficking, slavery, domestic, servitude, forced marriages, sexual harassment, sexuality, and sexual freedom. Join us in viewing and discussing these films in the fight against these obstacles to peace, prosperity, and the dignity of women.
Women's Voices Now seeks to empower all women living in Muslim-majority societies by promoting their free expression, thereby giving voice to the struggles for civil, economic, political, and gender rights. Learn more at Women's Voices Now.
Your film ticket includes a delicious homestyle meal catered by Bouchra Azizy featuring cheese and spinach fatayer, ground beef and veggie rolls, hummus, falafel, salmon mousse on cucumber a bastilla, a delicious Moroccan speciality, plus for dessert, fruit or baklava. See below for each evening's full schedule.
Saturday, June 6
Theme: Body Talk
Blobfish by Urgur Ferhat Korkmuz and Atilla Borutcu
In the Name of Tradition by May El Hossamy
The Reflex by Ali and Hussein Mousavi
Get Along by Parya Vatankhah
Theme: States of Violence
Chronicle of Tahrir Square by Nour Zaki
Final Moments by Shadi Amin
Mohtarama by Malek Shafi'i and Diana Saqeb
Take Care by Afrooz Nasersharif
Sunday, June 7
Theme: Conditions of Culture
Breaking the Silence by Rajae Hammadi and Global Girl Media
Vomit II - Celia Elslamieh Shomal
Swap - Sayed Masoud Islami
Shadow of the Stone by Fatemeh Keihani
Theme: Women without Men
Aabida by Maaria Syed
The Virginity Minarets by Farhad Rezaee
Behind the Wheel by Elise Laker
Mark Amin & Reza Amin cordially invite you to a Levantine Cultural Center fundraiser and introduction to The Markaz* with special guest speaker Reza Aslan on The Power of the Arts, featuring the Naser Musa Trio. A dinner, talk and live music in an exclusive benefit event, select guest list only.
Reza Aslan, host of CNN's forthcoming new religion series Believer, is the cofounder of BoomGen Studios, producing the upcoming ABC show Kings and Prophets which has a diverse cast (Israeli, Palestinian, Lebanese, Indian) and the feature film 1001, just sold to Lionsgate based on the classic tale One Thousand and One Nights.
Each year toward mid-May, communities of people supportive of Palestine or Israel (or both) are confronted by two diametrically opposed holidays: Israel's May 14, 1948 Independence Day and Palestine's Nakba Day May 15th. Our May 2015 series will create positive conditions for discussion and action. Please help us make this series successful with your attendance and support. See video from 2013 Celebrate Palestine series presented by the California Charitable Foundation and the LCC.
Get your all-events festival pass, with dinner and a movie on May 16th, just $100!
In "Palestine," visitors are invited to reflect on their own connection to historic Palestine, be it direct, ephemeral or matter-of-fact when reflecting upon the palimpsest (the country beneath Israel) in the making 1948-2015, and the works in the show, by Ramsey Chahine, John Halaka, Khalid Hussein, Najat El-Taji El-Khairy, and father and son artists, Jodet Shuquem and R.k. Shuquem.
RAMSEY CHAHINE Influenced by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Picasso and Marc Chagall among others, Ramsey Chahine is a young and prolific artist whose work is playful yet often profound. His paintings express a love of life, as well as a passionate curiosity about the meaning of things. In 2014 the Levantine Cultural Center's Inside/Outside Gallery presented Chahine's one-man show, "The Poison Is the Cure," featuring more than 25 mixed media paintings and sculptures. A Lebanese-Palestinian American, Ramsey was born in Redondo Beach, California. He currently works in New York City.
JOHN HALAKA John Halaka is an activist artist whose creative work serves as a vehicle for meditation on personal, cultural and political concerns. He creates images that raise questions, for himself as well as for the viewer, about some of the pressing issues of our time. His experiences as an artist of Palestinian descent shape his pictorial investigations of cycles of repression and displacement as well as the personal and political relationship between desire, denial and instability. His recent work in both painting and documentary filmmaking investigates issues of identity construction from personal, familial and political perspectives. "Through my work, I attempt to initiate a dialogue with the viewer that could hopefully instigate transformation, one person at a time. This effort is best summarized by James Baldwin's eloquent observation. "When circumstances are made real by another's testimony, it becomes possible to envision change."
A movie, comedy and identity!...How many of us in the United States grow up knowing little about our own cultural heritage? In the drive to come to America and integrate, parents often urge their children to assimilate, and as a result, sometimes native languages and traditions fly out the window.
Until recently, this was the case for comedian Kayvon Moezzi, best known by his stage name, K-von, whose Iranian father taught him little about his unique heritage. All that changed not long ago, when K-von discovered the truth about...NOWRUZ. Join K-von at the Levantine Cultural Center for a special screening event, as he ditches the comforts of Hollywood to discover the meaning and traditions behind Nowruz (Persian New Year). Performing stand-up comedy at each stop along the way and with the help of some recognizable celebrities, scholars, and friends, the ancient holiday that K-von almost lost has now been found.
Enjoy film, live comedy and lively discussion with director K-von Moezzi and friends—this film is 100% in English, featuring actor/comedian Maz Jobrani, international vocal sensation Andy, the comedian Iron Sheikh, actor/comedian Ahmed Ahmed, novelist Firouzeh Dumas and others.
Traditionally in Morocco the Jewish Moroccans would celebrate Pesach or Passover culiminating in Mimouna, which is like the Rite of Spring (in Iran it's called Nowruz or new year). Prior to the last day of Pesach and the Mimouna celebration, they observe the holiday for a week, and do not eat bread or anything with yeast (thus, no cake, beer etc). At the end of the Passover holiday, everybody gets together to celebrate. Moroccan Muslim neighbors come over with flour, sugar and other ingredients, to make mofletas (large homemade donuts). There is a celebratory table—quite similar to the Iranian Zoroastrian Nowruz table setting, or Haftsin—with items representing the Spring and abundance, like pomegranates, a whole fish, chocolate coins, sweets, fruit and more. Read more about the traditional Mimouna.
Traditional attire welcome (optional), also a full selection of Hamsa (Hand of Fatima) and other evil eye jewelry from Gulnur. Moroccan catering by Bouchra Azizy.
Mimouna: Moroccan Festival is an occasion for us all to be Moroccans, for Arabs, Arab Jews, Jews and their friends to celebrate together. Enjoy the beautiful dance of the striking Rosa Rojas and her group Guedra, with the authentic gnawa music of Youssef Iferd and guest performer Fella Oudane. Everything is included in the price of the ticket: live music, dance, Mimouna table, mofletas, sweets, Moroccan tea and good fortune for the year!
World-renowned comedian and actor Maz Jobrani, explains what it's like to be an Iranian American in Hollywood in his new bestselling book, I'm Not a Terrorist, But I've Played One on TV, a hilarious and moving memoir of growing up Iranian in America, and the quest to make it in Hollywood without having to wear a turban, tote a bomb, or get kicked in the face by Chuck Norris. Following the book release, Jobrani set out on a comedy tour explaining how he overcame Hollywood stereotypes and forged a path to stardom in an industry that only saw him as the perfect TV terrorist. Jobrani is a Levantine cultural ambassador.
Read about the book from Maz Jobrani's POV here.
By Jordan Elgrably
Charlie Hebdo, ISIS, Gaza, Ferguson, the Taliban, drone attacks killing families in Afghanistan and Pakistan...
Sharia, a new film from Algerian American director Anouar Smaine, presents the story of a couple in the United States that is grappling with American perceptions of Islam and the Quran, and a Muslim immigrant's attempt to distance himself from his religious heritage. In Sharia, three worlds collide—American, Arab and Muslim—and no one is ever quite the same. Smaine's film was screened in the Borrego Film Festival and has been accepted into the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. Meet the director, discuss the film with cast/crew including Said Faraj, Lauren Byrnes and Mike Batayeh. RSVPs 323.413.2001.
In Sharia, Heather and Sofiane are a "mixed" couple—Heather is American, Sofiane is from the Middle East. She sees in him the spiritual change she'd been trying to make in her life for years, just as he sees in her the freedom he'd been longing for since he immigrated to America. But as their journey together begins, their vision diverges and it won't be long before Heather and Sofiane discover that what they've gotten themselves into isn't exactly what they had envisioned, but rather what they'd been trying to get away from.
Expect a rich and evocative evening of poetry and music from two Lebanese American artists at the top of their form, when poet/performance artist/playwright Elmaz Abinader makes her debut at the Levantine Center. She will be joined by returning musician-vocalist Tony Khalife and master percussionist Alex Spurkel. Elmaz Abinader's new collection of poetry, This House, My Bones, has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. "Elmaz Abinader is a poet fiercely committed to the world's beauty, to history, to lost voices and the people she loves." —David Mura
Says Patricia Smith (winner of the 2013 Lenore Marshal Poetry Prize) "This House, My Bones is a gorgeously scripted chronicle that probes the collective heart and the countries we inhabit when we dare to speak out loud. There's an insistent rhythm in these stanzas, a lyricism of light and lineage stamped with the undeniable signature of a poet at the height of her craft. Savor these poems, and be lifted by their music." More about This House, My Bones. Listen to the poet. Listen to the music. More tunes.
Tickets $18 general, $15 members, $12 students. Seating limited, RSVPs strongly advised, call 323.413.2001.