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MENA-X: Secrets of Saudi Women

Event Details
Feb 22 2012 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Free to the public, $10 donation or book purchase suggested.
RSVPs recommended, 310.657.5511
Levantine Cultural Center
5998 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90035
Between La Cienega & Fairfax
ample street parking or across the street in the underground CVS lot (close 10 pm)
a conversation with two Saudi-phile women

An evening in the MENA-X series with authors Ferial Masry and Chris Cryer. Chris Cryer's new book is Tolstoy in Riyadh-A Story of a Teacher and Her Muse. Ferial Masry is the author of Running for All the Right Reasons: A Saudi-Born Woman's Pursuit of Democracy. The two women discuss their lives, their friendship and their books on the Saudi exotique.

Afghanistan: A Salon of Politics & Culture, Book Signing and Concert May 15, 2009

[Los Angeles, May 7, 2009] Levantine Cultural Center presents a salon on the politics and culture of Afghanistan, Friday, May 15, 7-9:30 pm, when authors Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould—who as documentary filmmakers and journalists have been visiting Afghanistan since 1981—discuss their new book “Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Story” (City Lights 2009), including a DVD presentation followed by Q/A and book signing. They will be introduced by Afghan-American lawyer-activist Mariam Atash Nawabi. The evening includes Afghani-American indie singer Ariana Delawari presenting some of her rock/folk repertoire. The program is copresented by CODEPINK: Women for Peace.

$10 or $20 with autographed book (free entry for members and students with I.D.).Doors open 7 pm. Even 7:30-9:30 pm. Refreshments available.

The Egyptians We Met

By Deeba Haidercorner in Cairocorner in Cairo

When I told my friends and extended family last fall that I was going to Egypt for three weeks with my dad, they all said, "Wow! What a wonderful opportunity! Are you sure it's safe?" After I came back from my trip to Egypt, the same people said to me, "Welcome Back! I want to hear all about your trip. Did you feel safe?"

Well, perhaps, I am a little naive, but it never crossed my mind that I would not be safe. I had plenty of other friends, European, American, Arab who frequented Egypt often, some lived and worked there and they loved it. I was eager to see what they described.

Zaatar Days, Henna Nights

Adventures, Dreams, and Destinations Across the Middle East

Reviewed by Catherine BatruniBook CoverBook Cover

The processes of self-discovery, inner growth, and understanding oneself and the world are only a handful of the numerous intrinsic rewards of traveling. Every so often, something in our hearts stirs us in a kind of epiphany and encourages an abandonment of our monotonous routines. This is exactly what happens to Maliha Masood, author of "Zaatar Days, Henna Nights", when she quits her tech job in Seattle and buys a one-way ticket to the Middle East. She spends approximately a year and a half exploring Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Turkey. What some may find unusual is that a Muslim woman-and an American at that-was sufficiently footloose to brave the Middle East alone.

Beirut Named Number One Place To Visit By New York Times

Subtitle: the summertime, in the city...Beirut? Who woulda thunkit!

Story and photographs by Catherine Batruni

As spring breaks and summer vacations are slowly but surely creeping upon us, many of you are searching for new locations to frequent. A vacation spot that doesn’t usually come to mind—for most Americans anyway—is the Middle East. Surprisingly, the New York Times ranked Beirut in the top ten out of forty-four destinations to visit this year in their January 11th, 2009 travel issue. Beirut was the only Levantine destination to receive this acknowledgement, unless you consider Qatari resorts competition with eastern Mediterranean hot spots.

Jordanian Film, Oscar Contender, Screens 1 Week Nov. 7-13

Event Details
Nov 7 2008 5:00pm
[Check for showtimes]
Laemmle's Music Hall
9036 Wilshire Blvd.
Beverly Hills CA 90211
info 310.274.6869
Highly recommended by those who have seen it locally, "Captain Abu Raed" is the official Jordanian entry in the Best Foreign Film category. "The Kingdom of Jordan is joining the race for the foreign-language Oscar along with the Netherlands, Taiwan and the Philippines. An independent committee of industryites set up by Jordan's Royal Film Commission chose writer-director Amin Matalqa's "Captain Abu Raed" as the country's Oscar player." —Variety report

The film follows an airport janitor, mistaken for an airline pilot by local children, who weaves fantastical stories to offer them inspiration and hope.

Iraqi Phrasebook Opens Door to Contemporary Iraq

Native Iraqi living in Los Angeles guides contemporary visitors to Babylon

Need to get through a checkpoint, or find an ancient monument? Then this is the book for you.

Iraqi Phrasebook, Essential Language Guide for Contemporary IraqIraqi Phrasebook, Essential Language Guide for Contemporary IraqThe only language guide of its kind, Dr. Yasin Alkalesi's Iraqi Phrasebook provides the Arabic neophyte with the Iraqi-Arabic phrases need to communicate effectively in general travel, medical, and security situations, as well as with ordinary Iraqis on the street. The book separates content by topic, focuses on conversational language, and presents Arabic phrases in easy-to-read transliteration. It features phrases addressing needs of military, aid, business, and construction personnel.