On Saturday, March 19, Women's Voices Now presents the final day of the Women's Voices from the Muslim World: A Short-Film Festival. The event will include screenings of a multitude of amazing and empowering films along with roundtable discussions and a book reading and signing. Topics include: girls in the Muslim world, health taboos in the Middle East, and women at work, among others. The event will wrap up with an awards ceremony and closing benefit.
Women's Voices from the Muslim World: A Short-Film Festival presents a collection of voices from women of all faiths living in Muslim-majority countries and Muslim women living as minorities around the world that fills the void in information created by traditional news, media and art sources.
The selection includes many never-before-seen films from women filmmakers in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE [Los Angeles, January 24, 2011]—The Levantine Cultural Center, in participation with Women's Voices Now, will present the Women's Voices Now Benefit Party on February 4, 2011 8pm-midnight at the Bradford Stewart Studio, 5872 Smiley Dr., Culver City, 90232. This important night will introduce Women's Voices from the Muslim World: A Short-Film Festival—giving voice to women of all faiths living in Muslim-majority countries and Muslim women living as minorities around the globe—taking place March 17-19 at the LA Film School.
The Benefit will be held on February 4, 2011, 8pm-midnight at the Bradford Stewart Studio, 5872 Smiley Drive, Culver City, CA. The venue is very cool in a dirty-chic sort of way.
The US has been in Iraq for seven years. Though there have been numerous movies about the war in Iraq, countless documentaries, and several tell-all memoirs from former Bush officials, there still is lot of mystery about the region. Most of the movies we think about when we think of Iraq—The Hurt Locker, Three Kings, Green Zone, Stop Loss—are about the American soldiers. Iraqis' unique history, their stories all seem to meld together into a beige backdrop. Barefoot in Baghdad, a memoir about an Arab-American aid worker in Iraq, held a lot of promise. Manal Omar was going to tell a story about Iraq that hadn't been told before. It had all of the makings for an incredible story, an Oprah's Book Club selection, an adapted screenplay for a critically acclaimed film, but instead I struggled to finish the book and was sad such great material was wasted.
View From a Grain of Sand, the documentary by Meena Nanji, is presented in partnership with the Levantine Cultural Center and produced by Folk Art Everywhere, a project of the Craft and Folk Art Museum.
"searing, wide-reaching... an especially timely addition to the collective history of the plight of women under repression."—Los Angeles Times
Shot in refugee camps of Pakistan and the war-torn city of Kabul, three remarkable Afghan women lead us through the maze of Afghanistan's complex history, informing this examination of how international interventions, war and the rise of political Islam have stripped Afghan women of their freedom over the last thirty years. Combining verité footage, interviews and rare archival material, this evocative film is a harrowing, thought-provoking and movingly intimate portrait of a still divided and brutalized nation. Addressing timely issues of women, Islam, and US foreign policy, the film is a compelling and vital addition to the global dialogue of our times.
Contrary to many Westerners' beliefs, Muslim women in the Middle East are not an inactive and voiceless minority, especially when given the proper tools, training, and opportunity. This misconception is continuously fueled by mainstream Western media outlets and has contributed to the unnecessary divide and misunderstanding between the East and West in terms of the role of women. Shamefully, I myself-a liberal and open-minded 22 year old enrolled in International Studies-was not able to grasp the idea of a traditional, Muslim, Middle Eastern woman as being empowered until my colleague and I began production on a documentary film about Asma Raja and Munira Al-Shatti.
[Los Angeles-June 24, 2010]—Described by the New York Times as a writer who "draws sharp, funny, earthy portraits of the fault line separating Muslim women from their Western counterparts," Arab-American writer Mojha Kahf makes a rare Southern California appearance at the Levantine Cultural Center, on Wednesday, July 14, where she will read from, sign and discuss her books, The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf and E-mails from Scheherazad.