While browsing the book fair at AWP (the Association of Writers Program) in Washington D.C. this month, I came across Khaled Mattawa's recent book of poems, Tocqueville. I've always been a big fan of his poetry and translations, particularly his beautiful renderings of the Iraqi poet, Saadi Youssef—whose work I plan to (re)introduce to you later this year.
Thirty years ago the Soviet Union was at the beginning of a long campaign in Afghanistan, the average person was lucky to have an advanced recording technology called a "VHS tape," and Mohammad Hosni Mubarak took control of Egypt, the most populous nation in the Arab Middle East. This week, the last of these beginnings came to an end when millions of Egyptian protestors succeeded in toppling one of the longest standing rulers in the 5,000-year history of Egypt.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE [Los Angeles, Feb. 14, 2011] The Levantine Cultural Center and Folk Art Everywhere will give a free arts workshop on Feb. 26, 2011 from 2-4:00 pm at the Levantine Center, 5998 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, 90035.
Women's Voices from the Muslim World: A Short-Film Festival presents a collection of voices from women of all faiths living in Muslim-majority countries and Muslim women living as minorities around the world that fills the void in information created by traditional news, media and art sources.
The selection includes many never-before-seen films from women filmmakers in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran.
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.