International superstar comedian, actor (PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN, GLADIATOR, THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH, THE MUMMY, CASANOVA, MODIGLIANI, THE INFIDEL) and promoter of peace OMID DJALILI, will be doing one show only in Southern California, to benefit the Levantine Cultural Center, on Saturday evening, December 7th, 8:30 pm. Get tickets here.
This is a 90-minute after-dinner show at the historic Wadsworth Theatre, the prominent westside Los Angeles venue, just west of Westwood, featuring a guest appearance by a nationally-known American comedian and actor whose name will be announced shortly!
SAVE THE DATE! Support your favorite Arab/Middle Eastern cultural arts center in Southern California, the one and only...
International superstar comedian and promoter of peace OMID DJALILI, the hilarious co-conspirator with Richard Schiff of The Infidel and many other films besides, will be doing one show only in Southern California, to benefit the Levantine Cultural Center, on Saturday evening, December 7th, 8:30 pm.
This will be a 90-minute after-dinner show at the historic Wadsworth Theatre, a prominent westside Los Angeles venue, just west of Westwood, featuring a guest appearance by a nationally-known American comedian and actor whose name will be announced shortly!
The 17th Annual Arab Film Festival (AFF) opens in Los Angeles on October 18, 2013 at the Harmony Gold Theatre. Founded in the San Francisco Bay Area, this is the 7th annual Los Angeles edition of the AFF and includes several Los Angeles premieres with the films' directors. Local organizations supporting the AFF include the Levantine Cultural Center, the Muslim Public Affairs Council Hollywood Bureau, and Women in Film.
September 20, 2013|Alternet|Jordan Elgrably
Every now and then a little sunshine breaks through, and Palestinians enjoy the light. Thanks to occasional complex portrayals in film, television and documentary reporting, they become real people with a cause we can all relate to, seeking justice and freedom.
That was true of the Palestinian characters in Steven Spielberg's Munich (2005), who weren't cardboard villains, but human beings. It was even more apparent the same year in Hany Abu-Assad's Paradise Now, which was the first Palestinian film to land an Oscar nomination and win a Golden Globe. In Paradise Now, we empathized with West Bank youth and understood what could drive them to consider becoming human bombs. In 2009, Cherien Dabis brought the Palestinian struggle to America with her film Amreeka, about a single mother from Ramallah, who gets her teenage son out so he'll have a future.
By Jordan Elgrably
It's time for a new vision of what it means to be Palestinian—one that celebrates the nation's creativity, imagination and resourcefulness.
In 2013, Palestinians in Gaza live under siege, with their airport destroyed, no access to international sea lanes, and land entrances controlled by Israel and Egypt. Palestinians in the West Bank hardly fare much better, as they must negotiate hundreds of checkpoints daily to get to work and school. West Bank water resources are controlled by the military government under whose occupation Palestinians live, and they pay double the cost for restricted quantities, to say nothing of the many Jewish settlement blocs interspersed throughout the West Bank provided with military protection, superior roads, and cheap access to water—facts on the ground that make peace improbable.
The Levantine Cultural Center supports the "Walk-Ins Welcome" documentary from young director Faisal Attrache, and we invite you to join us in supporting the project with your tax-deductible contributions and word-of-mouth assistance. Over the course of the last two years, the crisis in Syria has killed over 100,000 people. More than two million people have fled their native land and seek refuge in neighboring countries. As these figures continue to multiply daily, we lose sight of individual suffering, instead absorbed by the sheer, and increasingly abstract, multitude of the crisis.
"Walk-Ins Welcome" is a new documentary project from Faisal Attrache that aims to personalize the struggles of these refugees through a narrative focused on the barbers of the Zaatari camp—the second largest refugee camp in the world, in northern Jordan. Shadowing them throughout their day, Attrache will create portraits not just of nameless refugees, but of individuals. A barber serves customers from all walks of life each day and has his pulse on the community. No matter how difficult the situation gets, a person will always be in need of a haircut. When his customers come for a shave or a haircut, they are engaging in an act of maintaining normality, when life is anything but normal. Visit the web site.
For 12 years I've been like Don Quixote chasing windmills, arguing that Los Angeles must have a cultural arts center for the Middle East and North Africa. I envision a center for the arts in the spirit of peace and conflict resolution—a place where we can dream big as people who come from, or support, the Middle East and North Africa, stretching from Morocco in the west to Afghanistan in the east.
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.)
Do you agree that the greater Los Angeles region should have a Middle Eastern/North African cultural arts center? Are you supportive of our mission to bridge cultures and build peace?
The Levantine Cultural Center champions a greater understanding of the Middle East & North Africa, presenting arts and education programs that help bridge political and religious divides. We are an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit, serving the community since 2001. Our goal is to grow our active storefront into a multidisciplinary arts center that can better serve greater Los Angeles.
By Omid Arabian
Awards season is upon us again, and two of the most lauded films of the year deal with American involvement in the Middle East. At the top of seemingly everyone's list is Zero Dark Thirty—an account of the CIA's hunt for Osama Bin Laden, as told by director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal (Oscar winners for 2009's The Hurt Locker). The film has dusted up a sandstorm of controversy, with various politicians outraged by its suggestion that torturing prisoners was instrumental in the eventual discovery and capture of Bin Laden. On the critical front, however, the film is being almost unanimously praised for (among other things) its unflinching, objective, bias-free approach to historical events. As if such a thing were possible.