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.
EXILES, a new exhibition featuring two Iraqi artists will open at the Levantine Cultural Center's Inside/Outside Gallery with a reception for the artists on March 11, 2011, 6-10:00 pm, 5998 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, 90035. Exiles features Paul Batou and Faris Al-Saffar, exiled Iraqis whose art explores life in their native land. The two-man show runs through April 11, 2011.
"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.