Traditionally in Morocco the Jewish Moroccans would celebrate Pesach or Passover culiminating in Mimouna, which is like the Rite of Spring (in Iran it's called Nowruz or new year). Prior to the last day of Pesach and the Mimouna celebration, they observe the holiday for a week, and do not eat bread or anything with yeast (thus, no cake, beer etc). At the end of the Passover holiday, everybody gets together to celebrate. Moroccan Muslim neighbors come over with flour, sugar and other ingredients, to make mofletas (large homemade donuts). There is a celebratory table—quite similar to the Iranian Zoroastrian Nowruz table setting, or Haftsin—with items representing the Spring and abundance, like pomegranates, a whole fish, chocolate coins, sweets, fruit and more. Read more about the traditional Mimouna.
Traditional attire welcome (optional), also a full selection of Hamsa (Hand of Fatima) and other evil eye jewelry from Gulnur. Moroccan catering by Bouchra Azizy.
Mimouna: Moroccan Festival is an occasion for us all to be Moroccans, for Arabs, Arab Jews, Jews and their friends to celebrate together. Enjoy the beautiful dance of the striking Rosa Rojas and her group Guedra, with the authentic gnawa music of Youssef Iferd and guest performer Fella Oudane. Everything is included in the price of the ticket: live music, dance, Mimouna table, mofletas, sweets, Moroccan tea and good fortune for the year!
Partake in an evening of organic Afro-Arab trance with Bedouin X—soulful music from North Africa, West Africa and Nubia underlying Bedouin poetry, driven by polyrhythms and hypnotic grooves. Led by Alfred Madain, Bedouin X features artists Clarissa Bitar on oud, Ava Nahas on percussion and Dave Markowitz on the saz. The repertoire was created to revive and bring to the fore socially and politically conscientious music that sprang up in the African parts of the Arab world. Other performers include David Martinelli on percussion and Mike Gadsby on bass. This highly danceable music is known to induce a state of trance.
Opening for Bedouin X is Mahadev, a world music ensemble that plays an exciting and eclectic blend of Indian, Gypsy, African, Middle Eastern and American music mixed with original compositions that bridge the gap between these worlds of music. With Dave Cipriani on Indian slide guitar & voice, Chris Payne on cajon & frame drum and Neelamjit Dhillon on saxophone & tabla. Listen here.
Two great bands for the price of one ($20 in advance; $25 at the door). Seating is limited, however, and advance reservations are strongly suggested: 323.413.2001.
On Saturday, December 13th, 2014, the Levantine Cultural Center will hold its year-end comedy benefit show with the New Sultans of Satire at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center, in Long Beach. With a special tribute to Robin Williams, this evening brings together the top young Middle Eastern comedians at work together, including Aron Kader (Comedy Central's "Axis of Evil"), Tehran, Sammy Obeid, Marie-Thérèse Abou-Daoud, Sherwin Arae and Melissa Shoshahi. The Levantine Cultural will donate a portion of the proceeds to Kinder USA (Kids in Need of Development, Education, and Relief) to help deserving children in Gaza with medical needs following the summer war. The Levantine Cultural Center works to bridge political and religious divides that may exist between Americans and the Middle East/North Africa, by presenting arts and education programs in the spirit of exploration, discovery and unity.
Proceeds benefit the Levantine Cultural Center, a 501(c)3 founded 13 years ago as a grassroots nonprofit organization that champions a greater understanding of the Middle East/North Africa and our communities in diaspora.
Live in Los Angeles from Taroudant, Morocco is poet-translator El Habib Louai, accompanied by authentic gnawa musician/singer Youssef Iferd, presenting a fresh evening of spoken word and music in English and Arabic. El Habib Louai is a poet and translator from Taroudant currently traveling across the U.S. who recently translated some of the 15 Moroccan poets included in the Big Bridge anthology. Youssef Iferd has been performing a fusion of Moroccan and western music with the bands Radio Essaouira, Kif Samba and Moor Rockin' Time. Enjoy organic Moroccan mint tea and cookies with this evening devoted to the spirit of poetry.
Can you believe it?!
We are just starting our 12th year serving greater Los Angeles. Don Heckman wrote the first LA Times article about us, positively reviewing our first public program, in a Calendar review published June 25, 2001. (We received another thumbs-up review in December 2001 by theatre critic Don Shirley and many more LA Times articles since.)
"'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.