One of the biggest uncovered stories in the Middle East is the chasm between Israel's Euro-American Jewish population (Ashkenazim), and the Jews from the Arab/Muslim world, the Mizrahim. Deep-rooted racism continues to play a role in Israeli society between Ashkenazim and Mizrahim (sometimes called Sephardic Jews). Indeed, often there is a direct relationship between how Israel treats the Palestinians and the way Israeli society stratifies its own Jewish population, with Ashkenazim occupying more seats in the Knesset and more overall government control now than at any time since 1977, according to anthropologist and Professor Smadar Lavie.
Smadar Lavie suggests that there is a direct correlation between social protest movements in Israel, Ashkenazi-Mizrahi relations, and attacks on Gaza. Her talk will address Gaza 2014 and the Mizrahi predicament, right-wing politics and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Author most recently of Wrapped in the Flag of Israel, Mizrahi Single Mothers and Bureaucratic Torture, Smadar Lavie is a Scholar in Residence at the Beatrice Bain Research Center, UC Berkeley's feminists of color think tank, and at the Institute for Social Science in the 21st Century, University College Cork (Ireland). Her book looks at the role of gender in the Mizrahi-Ashkenazi divide with particular emphasis on how Mizrahi women (whose roots are in Arab countries, Iran, Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Middle East) navigate right-wing politics in Israel, noting that many Mizrahim vote for right-wing parties.
Professor Lavie will give a rare talk in Los Angeles on the relationship between the Mizrahi-Ashkenazi divide and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, on Thursday, Nov. 6, 7 pm. Book signing and reception to follow.
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.
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.
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
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 Feraz Ozel (Afghanistan/Iran), this show features several of the funniest young comedians on the circuit today. Headliner K-Von, with Mona Shaikh, Noël Elgrably, Sherwin Arae and Aron Kader (Comedy Central's Axis ofEvil)! Come early, have dinner in the café, spend a warm evening with us...
On Thursday, April 10th, see this exciting, very funny show, laugh with six Middle Eastern American stand-up comedians to humor that is satirical and universal.
The Levantine Cultural Center is pleased to welcome to Los Angeles for its debut concert the New York Andalus Ensemble, a group that performs the illustrious musical traditions of the Iberian Peninsula and North Africa. This diverse group of singers and instrumentalists presents a varied repertoire of songs in Arabic, Hebrew, Spanish, and Ladino, conjuring the cosmopolitanism of the Cordoba of al-Andalus. Performances weave together song with moments about the philosophical, linguistic, and theological intersections between faiths. Tickets are only $20 when reserving in advance ($25 at the door). Space is limited, RSVPs strongly advised. 323.413.2001.
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.
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, in a special performance featuring headliner Mike Batayeh. Hosted by Sheno Khal, this show features Marie-Thérèse Abou-Daoud, Noël Elgrably, Mona Shaikh and Omid Singh.
The 17th Annual Arab Film Festival (AFF) opens in Los Angeles on October 18, 2013 at the Harmony Gold Theatre. Founded in the San Francisco Bay Area, this is the 7th annual Los Angeles edition of the AFF and includes several Los Angeles premieres with the films' directors. Local organizations supporting the AFF include the Levantine Cultural Center, the Muslim Public Affairs Council Hollywood Bureau, and Women in Film.