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Middle East Diasporic

Sultans Comedy Celebrates Revolutions in Middle East

[Los Angeles, Apr 4]—Want satirical insights on the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East? Need a fresh and funny perspective on American and Middle Eastern life? Want to laugh about it all? The Sultans of Satire show features some of the best stand-up comedians today who happen to be of Arab, Iranian, Turkish, Greek, Armenian and Middle Eastern Jewish heritage. In "Sultans of Satire Celebrate the Egyptian Revolution," Sultans regulars Mike Batayeh, Noel Elgrably and Elham Jazab, plus Nadine Rajabi, Ara Basil and Sheno Khal will perform live on April 28, 2011, 8:00 pm, where they'll offer their own brand of outrageous comedy. Sultans will perform at the Madrid Theatre, 21622 Sherman Way, Canoga Park, CA, 91303.

"The Words Under the Words" by Naomi Shihab Nye

from the author of "19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East"

for Sitti Khadra, north of Jerusalem

My grandmother's hands recognize grapes,
the damp shine of a goat's new skin.
When I was sick they followed me,
I woke from the long fever to find them
covering my head like cool prayers.

Naomi Shihab Nye, "Someone I Love"

a prose poem by the author of "19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East"
Naomi Shihab Nye is not only a great poet, but also a remarkable human being. Born in St. Louis, to a Palestinian father (a refugee) and a mother of German and Swiss descent, Shihab Nye's poetry, essays and stories come from a soul that is not afraid of looking in the most ordinary places to reveal what often turns out to be luminously surprising.

Iran's Resillient Rebellion

Today's uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya may owe something to the Green Movement

By Nasrin Alavi | Open Democracy

The Iranian ruling elite is pushing the message that Iran's own revolutionary experience inspires the popular revolts in the Arab world. In doing so, the elite's leading figures are tying themselves in knots.

Their observations on the new-media aspects of the protests are especially revealing, given that Iran is in so many ways the homeland of cyber-activism.

Connecting Israel and Palestine together through MEPEACE

Online forum founder presents project in L.A. at the Levantine Center

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, 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.

Turkish-Armenian Dialogue Group

Event Details
Apr 9 2011 3:00pm - 5:00pm
Free to the public.
Levantine Cultural Center
5998 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90035
free street parking
an ongoing dialogue group for Armenians and Turks

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

Why Be a Stakeholder in the Levantine Cultural Center?

our spring fund drive must raise $25,000 by March 30th, 2011

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.

Julian Schnabel's "Miral" Opens Despite Protest

Event Details
Mar 25 2011 7:00pm - Mar 26 2011 12:00am
Arclight Cinemas Hollywood
6360 W Sunset Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028
first mainstream feature to offer Palestinian counter-narrative to 1948 and beyond

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

Ghazal: Persian-Indian Fusion

Event Details
Apr 21 2011 8:00pm - 10:30pm
$28/33/43 ($15 for UCLA students)
Click here for tickets
UCLA Royce Hall
340 Royce Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90095
ticket office 310.825.2101
Click here for parking and directions
with power trio Kayhan Kalhor, Shujaat Husain Khan and Samir Chatterjee

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.

Director's Screening of "Out Loud" With Samer Daboul

Event Details
Apr 8 2011 7:30pm - 10:30pm
$12 general admission, $10 students and LCC members
includes hors d'oeuvres and wine reception
Buy Tickets
Goethe-Institut Cinema
5750 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles 90036
free parking beneath the bldg after 6 pm
an urban tale of taboo sexuality in modern-day Beirut

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.