"'Arabesque' was out of this world amazing. We enjoyed it very much and can't wait for the encore." —Laila El-Hajoui
"Great event at the Levantine Cultural Center Saturday night...the music took my soul on a beautiful journey." —Nancy Tedder
The Levantine Cultural Center presents an encore performance of "Arabesque" with Al-Fareed of Radio Al-Fareed, AKA Alfred Madain and a group of musicians, the band calling itself Bedouin X. The band members are David Markowitz, Timothy Maloof and David Martinielli. Special guest artist visiting from Tunisia, Jamel Eddine Boukraa.
Deconstructing stereotypes: Jack G. Shaheen remembers 40 years
of commitment to positive Arab and US
understanding in evening lecture
[Monday December 10, 2012] On Wednesday December 19th, The Levantine Cultural Center presents honored media critic and film scholar Dr. Jack G. Shaheen in an intimate discussion and forum on misleading stereotypes based on Hollywood's negative portrayal of Arabs. Shaheen will be discussing his life-long commitment to illuminate social justice, with insights into the highs and lows of his 40-year quest, including his mission to reveal and terminate these damaging Arab and Muslim stigmas.
WHO: Jack G. Shaheen, media activist
WHERE: Levantine Cultural Center, 5998 W. Pico Blvd., LA 90035, street parking.
PRICE: Free to general public
INFO/RSVPs: Levantine Cultural Center, 323.413.2001, levantinecenter.org.
[Los Angeles-Monday November 27, 2012] Beginning Saturday, December 1st, the Levantine Cultural Center presents a fascinating new exhibit based on the work of film and media scholar Dr. Jack G. Shaheen's work: A is for Arab: Stereotypes in U.S. Popular Culture.
POSTPONED This event has been pushed forward to January 2013. Artists for Peace features a very special performance by Tony Khalifé in an evening of mystical music and dance with influences from Lebanon, India, North Africa and beyond, with special poetry performances by Sholeh Wolpe and Sheila Vossough reciting the poetry of Ahmad Shamloo and Forough Farrokhzad in English and Farsi, also featuring The Forbidden poetry of Iran.
From our neighbors up north comes Monsieur Lazhar, a French-Canadian film starring Algerian actor Mohamed Fellag. The film is set in a Montreal public school, where the sixth-grade class has just lost their teacher to suicide. As the story begins, two of the kids discover the teacher's body hanging from the ceiling of their classroom. The motives behind her grizzly act and her deliberate choice of venue never become quite clear; this lack of clarity is in essence what drives and complicates the kids' emotional journey in the weeks and months that follow.
The Tazzla Institute presents the 4th annual Amazigh Film Festival. Amazigh or "free people" is the proper name for the original inhabitants of North Africa, often referred to as "Berber." An estimated 60% of Morocco's population, for example, shares Amazigh heritage. The Amazigh Film Festival is sponsored by the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and cosponsored by the Levantine Cultural Center.. Tickets are $16 in advance for the program on Sat April 21, available here. Get them directly at the Electric Lodge on Sun Apr 22.
This festival celebrates the rich Amazigh culture of North Africa and the Sahara with film, music, and food. "Amazigh" is the original word for the Berber people and means "the free people". Amazigs and their descendants are found in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia.
The celebration will commence on Saturday, October 30 at 5 pm at the Barnsdall Theatre and Art Gallery. The event will feature two films, Footsteps to Africa: A Nomadic Journey and Asshak: Tales of the Sahara, as well as exhibit artwork by painter Leslie Clark and jewelry designer Moussa Albaka.
Guedra is a ritual blessing dance from the Tuareg Berbers, or "Blue People". Guedra is performed to envelop all present with positive energy, peace and spiritual love.The rhythmical clapping, and chanting, and dancers finger's and hand movements all have their origin in ancient symbolism. The Blue People consider Guedra to be their direct contact the elements, spirit, and universe. It is their deepest expression of their souls and provides protection against a hostile environment and evil spirits. The Guedra is an Arabic word for cooking pot. The cooking pot was covered in animal skin to make a drum to be played in the heartbeat rhythm. Workshop is open to all!
The Guedra workshop will begin with counter clapping and chanting warm up. Students will learn two blessing and counter clapping rhythms. There will also be a T'bal (standing dance) warm up. we will than proceed with Guedra on the knees and sitting position, and explore the intricacies of the hand, and arm movements. The Symbolic gestures are designed to send out blessings to the future, past, and present; to the Sun, Earth, Water and Wind. Towards the end of the workshop we will combine all elements of the Guedra.
Levantine Cultural Center presents an exclusive screening and discussion of the critical hit that took France by storm in 2008, winning a César for Best Film, from writer/director Abdellatif Kachiche (Tunisia).
In this complex and moving portrait of a North African immigrant family in a southern French city, aging protagonist Slimane Bejii is a divorced father down on his luck who seeks to change his fortunes by opening his own restaurant, serving his ex-wife's famous fish couscous. The family rallies around this common cause, despite the financial hurdles they must overcome, and the racial and class discrimination from local officials.
"The Secret of the Grain" is an extraordinary film from Tunisian-born writer/director Abdellatif Kachiche whose cinematic eye successfully enters into the most intimate parts of his characters in a style akin to Italian Neo-Realist films of the 1940s and 1950s. Little wonder the film picked up a César for Best Film and appeared on numerous critics' top ten lists for 2008, including that of A.O. Scott of the New York Times.
A post-film audience discussion will be led by Levantine Cultural Center's artistic director, Jordan Elgrably, whose family emigrated from Morocco to France, and Pani Norindr, Associate Professor of French & Comparative Literature, and Chair of the department of Comparative Literature at USC. Dr. Norindr received his doctorate in Romance Languages and Literatures from Princeton University. He is the author of Phantasmatic Indochina: French Colonial Ideology in Architecture, Film, and Literature (Duke University Press). He focuses his research on French, Francophone, and Southeast Asian cinema. He has recently published an essay on Rachid Bouchareb's "Days of Glory" in Yale French Studies.
Tickets available here online, or at the door but subject to availability (space is limited).
"The Secret of the Grain" is the first in Levantine Cultural Center's series this year, "New Voices in Middle Eastern Cinema", which takes place the third Thursday of each month. The February selection on Feb. 19, 2010 is Amin Matalqa's "Captain Abu Raed."
Read a review of this highly-lauded film in the Levantine Review.