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Middle East Diasporic

Mars at Sunrise with Director Jessica Habie

Event Details
Date/Time: 
Sep 27 2014 7:30pm - 9:30pm
Price: 
$10/$7 members/students
Where: 
Levantine Cultural Center
5998 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90035
Between La Cienega & Fairfax
street parking
Subtitle: 
a thoughtful and inventive look at a seemingly endless war

"Mars at Sunrise is a thoughtful and inventive look at a seemingly endless war." —Jeanette Catsoulis, The New York Times

Mars at SunriseMars at Sunrise

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. 

From New York to Hollywood, A Panel on Stella Adler and Acting

Event Details
Date/Time: 
Sep 24 2014 7:30pm - 9:00pm
Price: 
Tickets are $15, or $28 with a copy of the hardback biography
"Stella! Mother Modern Acting"
(no one turned away for lack of funds)
café open for dinner/snacks from 6:00 pm
Where: 
Levantine Cultural Center
5998 W. Pico Blvd
Los Angeles CA 90035
Between La Cienega & Fairfax
street parking
Subtitle: 
with Sheana Ochoa, Thom Bishops, Marjorie Ballentine, Mojean Aria, April Webster

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.

Launch Party for B'ta'arof, Iran: RPM & Omid Walizadeh

Event Details
Date/Time: 
Sep 17 2014 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Price: 
Free to the public (charitable contributions welcome)
Donate Here
Where: 
Levantine Cultural Center
5998 W. Pico Blvd
Los Angeles CA 90035
Between La Cienega & Fairfax
street parking
Subtitle: 
fiercely independent and creative Iranian writers and artists

We invite you to participate in an evening of Iranian literary and artistic culture on behalf of B|ta'arof magazine and the London-based collective, 

Save the Date, Dec. 6, for the East-West Awards

On Saturday, December 6th, 2014, the Levantine Cultural Center will hold its East-West Awards Gala, once again at the Beverly Hill's Women's Club. The East-West Awards recognize the sustained efforts of outstanding individuals working in the United States to bridge political and religious divides that may exist between Americans and the Middle East/North Africa, whether through media, peace activism or interfaith unity.

The full program includes a red-carpet reception and silent auction, live music, comedy, dinner and the awards ceremony. Distinguished honorees will be honored for significant contributions in cultural diplomacy, relationship-building, interfaith alliances, and peace activism. Previous honorees include Ms. Zainab Al-Suweij, Dr. Reza Aslan, Rabbi Leonard Beerman, Ms. Bana Hilal, Mayor Eric Garcetti, Ms. Jodie Evans and Ms. Roxana Saberi.

All proceeds will 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.

An Evening With American Muslim Writers

Event Details
Date/Time: 
Sep 5 2014 7:30pm - 10:00pm
Price: 
Free to the public (charitable contributions welcome)
café open 7:00-11:00 pm for dinner/snacks
Donate Here
Where: 
Levantine Cultural Center
5998 W. Pico Blvd
Los Angeles CA 90035
Between La Cienega & Fairfax
street parking
Subtitle: 
Romance, dating, sex and - Muslims?

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

"May in the Summer" with Cherien Dabis

Event Details
Date/Time: 
Aug 14 2014 7:00pm - 9:30pm
Price: 
Free to the public, RSVPs required
Call 323.413.2001 or email to RSVP
Where: 
Pacific Design Center's Silver Screen Theatre
8687 Melrose Ave
West Hollywood CA 90069
Lot parking, enter from Melrose just east of San Vicente
Subtitle: 
film screening and conversation

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 rsvp@levantinecenter.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.

Arab and Iranian Typography in Local / Not Local

Subtitle: 
June 26 - August 29 at the Inside/Outside Gallery
From a design perspective, what do we really know about the Arab world or Iran? A window into these cultures, which use the Arabic script for writing and design, has opened at the Levantine Cultural Center, which is hosting the exhibtion LOCAL/NOT LOCAL, a modern collection of contemporary Arabic and Iranian typography and calligraphy at the Inside/Outside Gallery. The show opened June 26 and will be on view through August 29, 2014, with a closing event on Thursday, August 28th. Listen to a new podcast on "Local/Not Local" hosted by Arielle Zionts for Radio Tabbouli.
 
These days it seems like everyone's got a favorite font and a philosophy of typography. But it's not just our Roman alphabet that gets translated into different shapes—all over the world, designers pick and choose scripts to suit the occasion. In LOCAL/NOT LOCAL, co-curators Maece Seirafi and Pouya Jahanshahi present a collection of award-winning Arab and Iranian designers who demonstrate the creative possibilities and expressions that lurk in their native alphabets.

Sultans of Satire with Sammy Obeid and Friends

Event Details
Date/Time: 
Jul 25 2014 8:00pm - 10:00pm
Price: 
$18 general/$15 members/students
seating limited, RSVPs advised: 323.413.2001
Click here to buy tickets
Where: 
Levantine Cultural Center & Café
5998 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90035
Between La Cienega & Fairfax
street parking
Subtitle: 
Middle East Comic Relief (boy, do we need it!)

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 Talat Ensemble, Guest Zane Musa, Middle East Jazz Groove

Event Details
Date/Time: 
Jul 10 2014 8:00pm
Price: 
$15 general admission, $12 members/students/seniors, $18 after July 9
Seating limited, RSVPs strongly advised: 323.413.2001
Click here to reserve seats
Where: 
Levantine Cultural Center
5998 W. Pico Blvd
Los Angeles CA 90035
Between La Cienega and Fairfax
street parking
Subtitle: 
a cross-cultural concert fusing east and west under the mane of jazz

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. 

Souren Baronian's Magic Carpet Ride

Event Details
Date/Time: 
Jul 26 2014 8:00pm - 10:30pm
Price: 
$25 General Admission/$20 members & students with id
Seating limited RSVPs strongly advised: 323.413.2001
Click here to buy tickets
Where: 
Levantine Cultural Center
5998 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90035
Between La Cienega and Fairfax
Street parking
Subtitle: 
a carpet concert

"Like two chemicals that flare upon touching, the music is a remarkable hybrid of two cul