By Ryan Torok, Jewish Journal
A social networking site recently featured Israelis, Palestinians and others chatting together online about the crisis in Libya and its implications for Israeli-Palestinian relations. Elsewhere on the site, a circulating letter of Jewish support for Egypt gathered signatures and a discussion forum featured photos of daily life in Gaza, which has prompted more than 200 comments.
Welcome to MEPEACE.org, where the goal is to mobilize moderates supportive of peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Eyal Raviv, the site's founder and executive director, believes that peace starts with each of us - the "ME" in MEPEACE stands for "Middle East" as well as for the users themselves.
Open Mountain is an ongoing dialogue group for Armenians and Turks. The kickoff meeting takes place April 9, 2011, 3:00 - 5:00 pm, participation is free.
We are calling on Armenians, Turks and supportive others to engage in a dialogue, to listen to all narratives, overcome stereotypes and see each other's common humanity. For more information, please email us at openingthemountain-at-gmail.com.
The Challenge and the Case for Support
By Jordan Elgrably, Susan Seely, Leili Davari, Mark Kanga
The Middle East and North Africa—a vast and diverse region whose populations are woefully under-served in the United States, and largely misunderstood—has never been more in the news than this year. Our cultures, our countries have attracted enormous international attention as a result of the uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and beyond. Yet by and large, Americans continue to have few opportunities to learn about the Arab/Muslim world. Enormous barriers between east and west still exist.
On Friday, March 25th, Miral will make history as the first mainstream American movie about Israel-Palestine told entirely from the perspective of three generations of Palestinian women. Based on the autobiographical novel from journalist Rula Jebreal and masterfully directed by Oscar nominee Julian Schnabel, Miral is unprecedented for both its content and distribution to US audiences. Starring Willem Dafoe, Freida Pinto, Vanessa Redgrave, Omar Metwally and the great Hiam Abbass, Miral is a Venice Film Festival 2010 Official Selection (running time 1h52minutes, rated PG-13). See miralmovie.com.
In a stunning marriage of Indian and Iranian classical music, sitar virtuoso Shujaat Husain Khan, son of the legendary Ustad Vilayat Khan and Kayhan Kalhor, master of the kamancheh (the traditional fiddle of Persian classical music) present an evening of inspired improvisation.
New Voices in Middle Eastern Cinema presents a director's screening of Out Loud at the Goethe-Institut Cinema. This is one of the few Arab films to deal with the taboo subject of homosexuality in the Middle East. Screening includes a Q/A with writer/director Samer Daboul, followed by an hors d'oeuvres and wine reception. Out Loud is a modern tale of social conflict that examines the challenges faced by Lebanese youth in a society ruled by rigid ideas and traditions. Set in modern day Zahle (a suburb of Beirut), where free-spirited imagination and non-traditional relationships can be extremely challenging, Jason and four of his male friends and one woman form a unique friendship that allows them to transcend the strictures of Lebanese society, but not without sacrifice and pain.
June, 2006. Over a month since Mansur left, and I'm doing my best to help his son. As a favor, I call Sami at least once a week to see how he is doing, and I drive him on errands whenever he asks. I met Mansur and his wife Karima a quarter century ago through a University of Minnesota host family program, and celebrated with them in 1982 when their son, Sami, was born.
By Simon Mainwaring
The January 25th revolution in Egypt was an incredible achievement by its people and a truly inspiring example of the power of peaceful protest. Yet the work towards an effective transition to democratic government within Egypt has just begun. Meanwhile a debate continues to rage in the blogosphere as to the exact role played by social media.
Twenty7 plays a unique blend of rock with Middle Eastern influences. The band formed in 2007 when a group of young and talented musicians met each other through mutual friends in Los Angeles, California. Comprised of members originally from Turkey, Twenty7 adds Middle Eastern flavor to rock, forming a unique style of music with strong rhythms, technical guitar riffs, and powerful vocals. Okan is the free-spirited vocalist and bass guitarist, Murat is the charming guitarist, Volkan is the down-to-earth darbuka percussionist, and Kurt is the perfectionist drummer.