Award-winning historian and journalist William Dalrymple delivers a masterful account of the infamous First Anglo-Afghan War, drawing striking similarities between the West's first disastrous entanglement with Afghanistan and the situation today.
With access to newly discovered primary sources from archives in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia and India—including a series of previously untranslated Afghan epic poems and biographies—the author gives us the most immediate and comprehensive account yet of the spectacular first battle for Afghanistan. Read a Guardian review. LCC members should RSVP with the LCC at 323.413.2001 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Los Angeles—MAR. 20, 2013] Entering into the Persian New Year, the Levantine Cultural Center presents a masterpiece, Shahnameh: The Epic of the Persian Kings, a new illustrated edition of the classic work by the great 11th-century Persian poet Abolqasem Ferdowsi. Created by award-winning graphic artist and filmmaker Hamid Rahmanian, this new prose translation of the national epic is illuminated with over 500 pages of illustrations. Rahmanian will share images and text from the book as well as discuss the continued relevance of this powerful classic for a new generation of readers.
Entering into the Persian New Year, the Levantine Cultural Center presents a masterpiece, Shahnameh: The Epic of the Persian Kings, a new illustrated edition of the classic work by the great 11th-century Persian poet Abolqasem Ferdowsi. This new prose translation of the national epic is illuminated with over 500 pages of illustrations, created by award-winning graphic artist and filmmaker Hamid Rahmanian. The spectacular images in this edition were created from elements culled from thousands of illuminated manuscripts, lithographs, and miniatures dating from the fourteenth to the nineteenth centuries: each page is a new work of art and exquisite collage of traditional forms. Translated and adapted by Ahmad Sadri, this new edition retells the mythological and epic stories of the original poem in prose format. This event features santoor maestro Hamid Saeidi, and is cosponsored in part by Robert Reza Amin.
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.
Readers interested in exploring the Middle East, cultural identity, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, satire, Arab social life and the mind of Sayed Kashua will benefit from picking up his latest novel, Second Person Singular (copies discounted by 10% or 20% for members, available at the Levantine bookstore, call 323.413.2001). Acclaimed novelist Sayed Kashua, the creator of the groundbreaking Israeli sitcom, "Arab Labor," has been widely praised for his literary eye and deadpan wit. His new novel is considered internationally to be his most accomplished and entertaining work yet.
Reviewed By Jordan Elgrably
[This Angelic Land, a novel by Aris Janigian, West of West Books, 2012]
Do you remember the early ‘90s in Los Angeles? Between the riots, the Northridge earthquake, OJ Simpson and the Malibu mudslides, it became an apocalyptic landscape, at once horrific, beautiful, and unforgettable.
Not unlike Beirut during its civil war, 1975-1990.
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.
By Sheana Ochoa
The motif of home and more specifically "the Return" (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, a Bittersweet Year in Beirut. 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.
"Ben Ali promised reform and democracy. What he delivered was an increasingly draconian one-party police state. The major target of the state repression was political Islam. But after Islamist politics receded from electoral and social relevance in Tunisia, the governments iron fist did not soften. The man who would be democrat became indistinguishable from a king." —Khalid Husssein
Reviewed by Angel J. Storm
[Winning the War on War: The Decline of Armed Conflict Worldwide by Joshua S. Goldstein; Dutton, 2011]
In his book Winning the War on War, Dr. Goldstein analyzes decades of war and how peace keeping, peace building, and peacemakers have influenced wars positively and negatively. Dr. Goldstein also assesses the organizations that support and provide these forces, ranging from small NGOs to the UN, to various states' armed forces. He points out that the concept of war should be thought about as a continuum ranging from bad to worse, from small to large. While he does not try to downplay the "smaller" wars (such as small civil wars or isolated terrorist attacks (p. 3)), he does seek to provide readers with a bigger picture (which I believe is a must in a world with 24 hour news networks which definitely tend to concentrate on negative isolated incidents and fail to report the bad things that were avoided or corrected).