What shaped the C.I.A., and how does the agency play a role in our foreign policy in the Middle East and North Africa? The Levantine Cultural Center presents a public forum and book signing with intelligence historian Hugh Wilford and former C.I.A. case officer Robert Baer, in conversation about the history of the agency's Arabists and the direction of U.S. Middle East foreign policy, particularly with respect to Israel, Iran and Syria. The discussion will be moderated by journalist and political commentator Robert Scheer. The program is made possible in part by Truthdig and LA Jews for Peace. KPFK Pacifica Radio 90.7 FM is a media sponsor.
Hugh Wilford's new book is America's Great Game, The CIA's Secret Arabists and the Shaping of the Modern Middle East. Robert Baer is a former CIA case officer who served everywhere from Iraq to the former Soviet Union. (The 2005 film Syriana, starring George Clooney, was an adaptation of several of his books about the intelligence world.) Baer is the author of See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA's War on Terrorism; Sleeping with the Devil: How Washington Sold Our Soul for Saudi Crude; and The Devil We Know: Dealing with the New Iranian Superpower. Robert Scheer is the editor-in-chief of the online news magazine Truthdig and a regular commentator on KCRW's Left, Right and Center.
The week after Chicago congressman Joe Walsh claimed, "There is a radical strain of Islam in this country, trying to kill Americans every week," there were two attacks in the Chicago suburbs, one at a mosque, the other at an Islamic school. In previous weeks, a mosque in Joplin, Missouri was burned to the ground, and Sikh worshippers in Wisconsin were murdured "for looking Muslim." In the wake of 9/11, Islamophobia—in both neoconservative and liberal forms—has been an important ideological pillar of the "war on terror." From cultural, theological, and political perspectives, our speakers will deconstruct the most persistent myths about Islams and Muslims. and examine the role Islamophobia plays in justifying war abroad and political repression at home.
UCLA's OppenheimeLecture Series will present "The Role of the Media as a Partner in Protecting the Environment and Reaching Sustainable Development in Egypt" with special guest speaker Randa Fouad, on Wed., Jan. 18, at 6 pm on campus UCLA's Fowler Museum, Lenart Auditoriium. The forum is free to the public but reservations are required. Click here.
Progressive Conversations on Israel/Palestine and US Foreign Policy in the Middle East, the monthly series organized by LA Jews for Peace and the Levantine Cultural Center, with support from the national organization Jewish Voice for Peace, presents Mary Hughes-Thompson and Yonatan Shapira on their experiences with the Gaza Flotilla in July. Despite failing to land any boats on the shores of Gaza, was the flotilla a success—as many international observers argued, because of all the media coverage?
MIDDLE EAST CENTER LOOKS AT IRAQ, MIDDLE EAST CONFLICT THROUGH THE LENS OF THEATRE IN PUBLIC CONVERSATIONS/PERFORMANCES JUNE 17
For Immediate Release [Los Angeles, May 23, 2011] As a topic of conversation, Iraq typically conjures up images of war and the U.S. military occupation that began in March 2003. Rarely do Americans have an opportunity to learn about the long history of theatre in Iraq, nor about theatre arts throughout the Middle East. Where can Americans learn more about Iraqi and Middle Eastern theatre and how it can bridge our cultural differences? On Friday, June 17, 7pm, the Levantine Cultural Center will present FROM BABYLON TO HOLLYWOOD: How Theatre Bridges the U.S. and the Middle East, an evening of performances, readings and conversation devoted to Iraq and theatre within the Arab/Muslim World. The evening is co-presented by Golden Thread Productions of San Francisco and Theatre Without Borders.
"Islam and Hollywood: Facts, Myths and Martyrs" is a talk by Kamran Pasha—one of the first Muslim screenwriters in Hollywood and author of two page-turning novels on Islam. A quick-witted speaker with a knife-sharp sense of humor, Kamran Pasha's is the second presentation in the new MENA-X (Middle East/North Africa Exchange) lecture series, happening every Thursday at the Levantine Cultural Center. MENA-X presents incisive talks with experts and guest moderators to help us better understand the complexities of life on the ground in the Middle East and North Africa. Moderated by Dr. Nile El Wardani.
[For Immediate Release-Los Angeles, 1/19/11] What's Next for Israel/Palestine: War, Peace or More Occupation? UN Special Rapporteur Richard A. Falk and anthropologist and author Jeff Halper will hold a public forum on February 5, 2011 at the Iman Cultural Center, 3376 Motor Ave. in Los Angeles. Falk and Halper will address issues on the relations between Israel, Palestine, Turkey and the U.S. (A special donor dinner with Falk and Halper benefiting ICAHD will follow afterward from 6:30-8:30 pm. More info.)