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Levantine Review

Film

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    How Things First Went Wrong in Palestine
    "1913: Seeds of Conflict" aims to explain the current Israel/Palestine conflict by locating its roots. Countering the prevailing notion that there is an "ancient grudge" between Israelis and Palestinians, the 57-minute film posits that waves of Eastern-European Jewish immigrants to the Promised Land in the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth century created a pressure cooker of mistrust and violence that would ultimately lead to the friction we know today.
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    Once upon a time in Beit Sahour, a suburb of Bethlehem, the town wanted to milk its own cows, rather than buy milk from Israel. This was in the era of the first Intifada and the people were in the mood for civil disobedience. And so it was that a few townspeople, including high school teacher Jalal Oumsieh, gathered the masari and purchased 18 milk cows from a nearby kibbutz.
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    On June 6th and 7th of 2015, the Levantine Cultural Center/The Markaz hosted the Women's Voices Now Film Salon, celebrating the winning short films of the 2014 Women's Voices Now Short Film Festival. The event, co-organized by Women's Voices Now executive director Heidi Basch-Harod and Eszter Zimanyi, Markaz film committee chair, sought to create a dialogue about the numerous issues facing women in Muslim-majority societies by showcasing new films produced in the Southwest Asia-North Africa (SWANA) region.

Music & Dance

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    It's time for a new vision of Palestinian identity-one that celebrates the creativity and resourcefulness of its people. As well, let us agree that when Palestinians enjoy peace and justice under the law, Israelis and the international community will be liberated from the conflict that has caused so much destruction and heartache.
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    Akram Khan brings one of his latest creations to America
    Founded in August 2000 by Choreographer Akram Khan and Producer Farooq Chaudhry, the Akram Khan Company "journeys across boundaries to create uncompromising artistic narratives," according to the company's web site.

Op-Ed & Satire

  • Wanted_18-sm.jpg
    Once upon a time in Beit Sahour, a suburb of Bethlehem, the town wanted to milk its own cows, rather than buy milk from Israel. This was in the era of the first Intifada and the people were in the mood for civil disobedience. And so it was that a few townspeople, including high school teacher Jalal Oumsieh, gathered the masari and purchased 18 milk cows from a nearby kibbutz.
  • WVN13-box-02-02-250.jpg
    On June 6th and 7th of 2015, the Levantine Cultural Center/The Markaz hosted the Women's Voices Now Film Salon, celebrating the winning short films of the 2014 Women's Voices Now Short Film Festival. The event, co-organized by Women's Voices Now executive director Heidi Basch-Harod and Eszter Zimanyi, Markaz film committee chair, sought to create a dialogue about the numerous issues facing women in Muslim-majority societies by showcasing new films produced in the Southwest Asia-North Africa (SWANA) region.
  • francis-bacon-three-studies-for-a-portrait-of-lucian-freud-21-400.jpg
    Memorial Day is a national holiday that serves to remember American dead who served in our armed forces. For me it has become a day to meditate more broadly on the worldwide culture of war and our role in it.
  • people sahba sholeh
    For Arts and Free Expression—as a Counterweight to Extremism, Islamophobia, Media Bias and Racism
    Charlie Hebdo, ISIS, Gaza, Ferguson, the Taliban, drone attacks killing families in Afghanistan and Pakistan... I can't remember another time in my life when violent extremism and malevolent hatred against others seemed quite so prevalent—can you? With ISIS we have the wild-eyed persecution of religious minorities in Iraq and Syria, and the beheading of western journalists and aid workers.

Literature

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    Miko Peled sets the record straight on the dispossession of Palestine
    My review of "The General's Son," by Miko Peled, cannot be separated from what I've come to know about the author. After all, this book is about Peled's own life, and his journey to a new understanding of the conflict that has defined so many of our lives. It is a narrative of the author's transformation from an ardent Zionist, born into a revered military Israeli family, to a human rights activist and advocate of a single binational state. In addition to reading this book, I attended one of Peled's lectures and watched another online, and I've had a chance to speak with him in person and at some length. At each of these junctures, my reaction to his narrative changed to some degree.
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    This Angelic Land is a novel set in Los Angeles during the 1992 Rodney King riots— the largest, most destructive civil uprising in American history. Adam Derderian, the central protagonist, is a 27-year-old Lebanese Armenian bar owner. The narrative shifts back and forth from his perspective to that of his brother, a New York-based artist five years his senior. The backdrop is their youth during the Lebanese civil war in Beirut—the longest civil war in modern history.
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    a travel writer returns to Lebanon after a life in the United States
    The motif of home and more specifically "the Return" home (Al-Awda in Arabic) recurs throughout world literature. Home as a place (as opposed to a state of mind or of being) comprises the central conflict in Salma Abdelnour's memoir, "Jasmine and Fire." Abdelnour was born in the United States of Lebanese parents, but returned to Lebanon when she was two, the summer before the 15-year Lebanese civil war ignited. After six years of war, the family decided to move back to America. However, Abdelnour's conscious memories of childhood, her sense of home, remained in Beirut.
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    wanted: social impact investors to back the new Levantine Cultural Center coming in 2013
    Founded 11 years ago as a grassroots nonprofit organization that champions a greater understanding of the Middle East/North Africa and our communities in diaspora, we are building a new, more self-sustaining cultural arts center for the Middle East and North Africa in Los Angeles. Southern California is home to the largest community of people from the Middle East and North Africa in the United States. It is high time that we had a multidisciplinary arts center that will serve as a focal point and hub for our many cultures.