Free admission, open to all. However, electronic reservations are required for all screenings. RSVP here.
About the Festival
This three-day film festival will present and explore a panorama of emerging and established cinemas from the Middle East, including recent works from Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq and Iran. The festival will highlight unifying themes in Middle Eastern cinemas, as well as delineate the complex role that filmmakers play in granting visibility to salient political and civil rights issues, often at odds with the political establishment. Filmmakers and scholars will discuss the ability for cinema to be used as a vehicle for mobilizing social change and how these films reflect and respond to their domestic cultures.
The Levantine Cultural Center and FreeTunisia.org present a culture jam devoted to exploring the Jasmine Revolution.
The so-called Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia, which ousted Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, lasted 28 days. Mubarak's regime crashed in just 18 days after thousands of Egyptians connected on Facebook began their vigil to oust him.
A limited number of individuals (40 max) will be able to attend this special benefit performance of I Heart Hamas: And Other Things I'm Afraid to Tell You, followed by a talkback with Jennifer Jajeh and an open bar. (A portion of the proceeds benefits the LCC's monthly series, Progressive Conversations on Israel/Palestine and U.S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East.)
"Jennifer Jajeh has an interesting story to tell. Sometimes-humorous, sometimes-disturbing... her discoveries of what life in Ramallah is like for Palestinians may be revelatory for most Americans." —Kerry Reid, Chicago Tribune
Jennifer Jajeh's tragicomic solo show has already been a hit in the San Francisco Bay Area, where it ran for 12 weeks in the fall of '09, and in Minneapolis and Chicago for six weeks in the spring of last year. Audiences are overwhelmingly receptive to Jennifer's performance, and critics have been enthusiastic. Read reviews.
The Levantine Cultural Center is pleased to cosponsor the play's Los Angeles debut, February 11-March 5 at the Theater Asylum in Hollywood.
I just finished reading Manal Omar's memoir Barefoot in Baghdad, a page-turner. The style of writing is simple yet sophisticated. Omar cleverly narrates events through the lens of her complex and multi-layered identities: Muslim, Palestinian, American, feminist, humanitarian. In a non-judgmental manner, she touches upon many issues concerning Iraqi women from different walks of life. Her bravery and passion for Iraq are manifested throughout the book. A nascent and stubborn hero who refuses to turn her back on women in need, Omar narrates her stories with intellectual zest and so much heart. We corresponded recently about her time in Iraq and the writing of the book.
Awad is a Palestinian group facilitator who has dedicated much of her life to promoting peaceful conflict resolution through the art of listening. She has done so in various settings including Israel, Palestine, parts of Europe, and the U.S. She was on a speaking tour arranged by the Salaam-Shalom Educational Foundation, which is headquartered in Southern California, but focuses its work on behalf of Israelis and Palestinians, with the goal to "foster a generation of individuals educated to cultivate new social, cultural and economic endeavors so that communities of Israelis and Palestinians may learn to thrive together."
When Palestinian peaceworker Itaf Awad walked into the Levantine Cultural Center on January 26, she took one look at how the chairs were set up for the event and quickly asked for them to be rearranged into a circle. The night she had planned wasn't going to work with about 15 people staring at her the whole time. It was clear she wasn't there to lecture about the Way of Council, but rather to share it.
Friday evening, the Levantine Cultural Center seemed to be the only source of life on West Pico Boulevard. While the rest of the shops lay quiet, conversation and light came from the center's large windows.
The Levantine Cultural Center occupies a modest space, changing to accommodate different events. Right now it's transformed into the Inside/Outside Gallery, displaying the artworks of Noah Haytin and UCLA alumnus Khalid Hussein. Here, most dialogue revolves around the Middle East and North America.
The Sultans of Satire: Middle East Comic Relief is the longest-running Arab/Middle Eastern comedy show in the US, now entering its 7th year. The Sultans of Satire includes some of the best stand-up comedians today who happen to be of Arab, Iranian, Turkish, Greek, Armenian and Middle Eastern Jewish heritage. In this show Ronnie Khalil, Elham Jazab and Noel Elgrably return behind the Orange Curtain for an encore performance after their last show together at the Irvine Barclay Theater. They will be joined by special guest comedian, Mike Batayeh.
Get a fresh satirical perspective on American and Middle Eastern life when Ronnie Khalil (Egypt), Elham Jazab (Iran) and Noel Elgrably (Morocco/US) bring their Arab, Persian and Sephardic sensibilities to the Muckenthaler Cultural Center for the first time. Mike Batayeh (Jordan/U.S.) also makes a special guest appearance. The popular and long-running Sultans of Satire show has been a monthly feature at the world-famous Laugh Factory and Improv comedy clubs in L.A. Many of the most celebrated Arab and Iranian comedians in the world have been members of the Sultans cast.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE [Los Angeles, January 24, 2011]—The Levantine Cultural Center, in participation with Women's Voices Now, will present the Women's Voices Now Benefit Party on February 4, 2011 8pm-midnight at the Bradford Stewart Studio, 5872 Smiley Dr., Culver City, 90232. This important night will introduce Women's Voices from the Muslim World: A Short-Film Festival—giving voice to women of all faiths living in Muslim-majority countries and Muslim women living as minorities around the globe—taking place March 17-19 at the LA Film School.