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Create a body of work, memoir or fiction, short stories or one longer piece in the workshop.
Writing with compassion toward yourself and your life's story, writer's block and limiting beliefs will diminish—resulting in authentic literature, self-knowledge, new insights into your family, community and culture, and in cathartic healing. You will learn and explore the skills of creative writing as you write and read your work in the group, receive effective feedback and partake in insightful discussions.
An evening of Turkish rock, folk and traditional fasil (tavern music) from Turkey spans the European and Asian continents and is a bridge culture between east and west. With Kutsal, co-starring Burak Besir. Kutsal is an Istanbul rocker with four recordings to her credit who also sings local folk/fasil songs; Band Twenty7 is a 3-piece world music/rock band based in Los Angeles that plays modern rock with a fusion of ethnic music influences. The band sings original songs in both English and Turkish and some traditional Turkish cover songs with an added funk rock beat. Kutsal and Twenty7 will rock the house with an acoustic concert. Tickets are $15 ($18 at the door) and include a complimentary glass of arak (raki). Enjoy mezzes and an eclectic menu of Middle Eastern food and drink items in Café Rumi.
"'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
"Synergy! Amadou Fall mesmerizes playing the African Kora.."
The Levantine Cultural Center presents the much-awaited third edition of Café Arabesque with Al-Fareed of Radio Al-Fareed and his band Bedouin X. The band members are Alfred Madain, David Markowitz, Timothy Maloof, David Martinelli and Ava Nahas. There will be a very special guest performance to open the evening by West African kora player Amadou Fall from Senegal. Tickets are $18 general admission, $15 for LCC members, students/seniors, $20 at the door. Reserve early, this program will sell out (standing room only in that case): 323.413.2001.
Inside/Outside Gallery presents a new group exhibit, "MENA/VICEROY" as in Middle East/North Africa and viceroy, colonial ruler. The exhibit is organized by The Curatorial Practices class under the aegis of artist/professor Micol Hebron at Chapman University's Department of Art, in conjunction with the Levantine Cultural Center. MENA/VICEROY opens Dec. 12, 6-10 pm with a reception for the artists and runs through January 8, 2014. The exhibition aims to highlight dialogue from cultural producers of our time, addressing political and social issues pertinent to the Middle East today. Gallery hours 10 am-6 pm daily and evenings during regularly scheduled events.
Limited seating for this long-running and inspired comedy show-come enjoy a healthy dose of comic relief, laugh about life and the Middle East with one of L.A's hottest comedy troupes, the Sultans of Satire, in a special performance featuring headliner Mike Batayeh. Hosted by Sheno Khal, this show features Marie-Thérèse Abou-Daoud, Noël Elgrably, Mona Shaikh and Omid Singh.
The AFI Fest 2013 presented by Audi and the Levantine Cultural Center offer two special screenings of Hany Abu-Abbad's latest feature, after The Courier and Paradise Now. (Sun., 4 pm, Nov. 10; Mon, 10 pm, Nov. 11 at the TCL Chinese Theatre.) Omar is not afraid to climb over the Israeli walls in Palestine using surreptitious rope ladders; having sniper fire whiz past his head is a part of daily life for Omar and his best friend, Tarek. Ironically, the most dangerous thing in Omar's life is the fact that he's in love with Nadia, Tarek's sister.
When military intelligence investigates the death of a checkpoint patrolman, they realize that Omar's relationship can be used to leverage information. From this tale of hidden love comes an intense portrait of life in the West Bank. Director Hany Abu-Assad throws these characters into a world of dangerous loyalties and betrayals where something as simple as young love can be exploited. OMAR is a drama that reveals Assad's compassionate view of life, empathizing deeply with human beings trapped in circumstances beyond their control.
Israeli American activist and author Miko Peled has toured widely presenting his book The General's Son: the Journey of an Israeli in Palestine. Dr. Laila Al-Marayati is a Palestinian American physician and activist with KinderUSA. They join in public conversation on the Israel-Palestine question at the Levantine Cultural Center on Thursday, Nov. 21, 7:00 pm. The program is cosponsored by Jewish Voice for Peace-LA. Everyone is invited to participate. Enjoy food/drink in our Café Rumi.
Writes Alice Walker in her foreword:
"There are few books on the Israel/Palestine issue that seem as hopeful as this one. First of all, we find ourselves in the hands of a formerly Zionist Iraeli who honors his people, loves his homeland, respects and cherishes his parents, other family members and friends, and is, to boot, the son of a famous general whose activities during Israel's wars against the Palestinian people helped cause much of their dislocation and suffering. Added to this, long after Miko Peled, the writer, has left the Special Forces of the Israeli army and moved to Southern California to teach karate, a beloved niece, Smadar, a young citizen of Jerusalem, is killed by Palestinians in a suicide bombing. Right away we think: Goodness. How is he ever going to get anywhere sane with this history? He does."
"A truly incredible story," says Ira Glass of This American Life. Kirk Johnson is the author of To Be a Friend Is Fatal: The Fight to Save the Iraqis America Left Behind, a moving, hard-hitting book about the plight of Iraqis who worked—often as interpreters—with the US Army and its affiliates. A memoir and a call to action, the book details his work in Iraq and his struggle to rescue the Iraqis who risked their lives to help rebuild the country, only to be branded collaborators and marked for assassination after being abandoned by the US.
Writing in the Boston Globe, Rayyan Al-Shawaf notes, "Part memoir, part impassioned plea, Johnson's book traces his experiences in Iraq, his personal breakdown, and his struggle to rescue the legions of young, idealistic Iraqis left behind by US administrations plagued by post-9/11 paranoia and gridlock. Because militants continue to kill such people despite the US withdrawal, it is difficult to imagine a book more urgent than this."
Johnson will discuss his book and his organization, The List Project to resettle Iraqi allies. This event is a benefit for the Los Angeles Review of Books and the Levantine Cultural Center, two nonprofits that champion literacy. More.
The Arab Film Festival presents a documentary that explores the stories of the Arab Jews of Morocco. With They Were Promised the Sea, filmmaker Kathy Wazana set out to discover why hundreds of thousands of Jews left Morocco in the 1960s, believing their Arab homeland had become enemy territory. What she found was a country still grieving the loss of its Jewish population. Her "enemy" welcomed her home and claimed her as one of their own.
They Were Promised the Sea is an intimate journey shot in Morocco, Israel-Palestine, and New York. Kathy's research into her family origins in Morocco unleashed a complex web of questions about dual identity, political opportunism, and the challenges faced by those torn between Homeland and Promised Land.
The Library Foundation of Los Angeles' ALOUD series with support from the Levantine Cultural Center presents an evening of stories and conversation bridging Iran and America. In her new collection of selected stories, Goli Taraghi, who is one of Iran's best-known and most critically acclaimed authors, draws on her childhood experiences in Tehran, adult exile in Paris, and subsequent returns to post-revolution Tehran.
Taraghi's stories are, as Azar Nafisi writes, "filled with passion, curiosity, empathy, as well as mischief-definitely mischief." Listen in as Taraghi shares from The Pomegranate Lady and Her Sons, made fully accessible to the English-speaking audience for the first time. A discussion ensues moderated by Reza Aslan, author most recently of Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. Reserve here.