"Reminiscent of Paolo Coelho's The Alchemist, with a hint of Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love, Alimoglu's [novel] follows the inner and outer journey of expatriate Turk and Sufi Ali Dogan." —Irene Blinston
Deserts and Mountains follows a determined young man on an emotional, physical and spiritual journey from Canada to Turkey as he experiences the life-changing guidance of his sheikh guide in this philosophical novel.
An expatriate living in Canada, frustrated with his business, career and family, Ali turns to his spiritual guide, a sheikh of the shrine he attends. The sheikh suggests that Ali keep a journal of the entire "real" trip, including a journey back to his childhood home in Turkey. Ali approaches the trip with no fixed agenda, other than to reflect on his life and the outcome of earlier events and choices. Out of this journal is born Deserts and Mountains.
The Arava Institute for Environmental Studies (AIES) is the premier environmental education and research program in the Middle East, preparing future Arab and Jewish leaders to cooperatively solve the region's environmental challenges together. Located in the heart of the Arava desert, AIES is a unique oasis of environmental education, research, and international cooperation. Visit the Arava web site.
Blog by Ryan Torok, Jewish Journal
The event, a fundraiser for the nonprofit, Free Tunisia, also featured Egyptian and Tunisian speakers, who spoke about their countries histories and their revolutions - propelled by youth determined to oust their longtime autocrat leaders. Levantine Center co-founder Jordan Elgrably, whose recent opinion piece in Al Jazeera says, among other things, that "Israel should be integrated into the mosaic of the Middle East. It is time to end the conflict that began with the belief that Arabs and Jews are historic enemies," helped organize the event.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE [Los Angeles, Feb. 28] Turkish author Yilmaz Alimoglu will present his book, Deserts and Mountains, at the Levantine Cultural Center, March 10, 7:00 pm, 5998 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, 90035.
I have not yet been able to digest the magnitude of what has happened in Tunisia, Egypt, and is happening now Iran, Syria, Yemen, and other Arab countries. As an Egyptian-American VJ and media artist whose work concerns the Arab world, the revolutions of 2011 have deeply impacted me professionally, artistically, and personally. There is something extremely poignant for Egyptians living outside of Egypt at this exact moment in history. Most of us who emigrated from Egypt often did so for the same reasons that incited millions to rise and cause revolutions. Perhaps there is lingering guilt that stays with the emigrant for not having stuck it out--on top of repercussions of Diaspora accumulated over decades. Still, there is no doubt that all Arabs living in and outside of the region have been extremely inspired and mobilized by the collective power of the people in the region. I keep hearing, repeatedly: the time is now.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE [Los Angeles, Feb. 24] The MEPEACE Organization will hold an interactive peace celebration at the Levantine Cultural Center on March 9, 2011, 7:30-9:30pm, 5998 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, 90035.
This year several Middle Eastern countries submitted feature films to compete for nominations in the category of Best Foreign Film Oscar, among them Algeria, Turkey, Iraq and Israel (a country that rarely misses a chance to compete in the annual Oscar lottery). Egypt had skin in the game with Daoud Abdel Sayed's Messages From the Sea, and there were films from Greece, Azerbaijan and Iran (Mehdi Naderi's Farewell Baghdad). Only one film has a chance on Sunday.
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.