[FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE-DEC. 6, 2010] Marking its 9th anniversary in Los Angeles, the Levantine Cultural Center (LCC) recognized three remarkable women at the East-West Awards on Wed., Dec. 1, 2010, in a dinner gala that took place at the Beverly Hills Women's Club. Nazanin Boniadi, a British-Iranian actor and official spokesperson for Amnesty International USA, was the master of ceremonies, while prominent Arab Americans Fabian Alsultany and Momo Loudiyi provided musical entertainment, supported by triple-Grammy winner KC Porter,, Algerian vocalist Fella Oudane and American percussion master Rowan Storm, with dancer Rosa Rojas. The evening culiminated with the sly satire of Iranian American actor and comedian Maz Jobrani.
[Los Angeles—November 19, 2010] On December 1st, 2010 the Levantine Cultural Center will host the East-West Awards gala to mark its 9th anniversary in Southern California. In celebration of the LCC's mission to bridge political and religious divides and champion a greater understanding of the Muslim world, the LCC will recognize the excellence of three individuals who have contributed to a positive dialogue between the Middle East and the US, including Iranian-American activist Roxana Saberi.
[Los Angeles- November 1, 2010] On December 1st, 2010 the Levantine Cultural Center will host the East-West Awards gala to mark its 9th anniversary in Southern California. In celebration of the LCC's mission to bridge political and religious divides and champion a greater understanding of the Arab/Muslim world, the LCC will recognize the excellence of three individuals who have contributed to a positive dialogue between the Middle East and the US.
Memoirs by political prisoners shed light on a world unknown to most of us—a world of forced confession, threats and psychological torture. American journalist Roxana Saberi's new Between Two Worlds: My Life and Captivity in Iran, an account of 100 days in Iran's notorious Evin prison, serves as a small window into the closed world of Iran's prisons.
Prison memoirs written by Iranians were long rare, only becoming popular when former political prisoners living in exile in Western countries began telling their stories. The resulting books—often written by women such as Shahrnush Parsipur (1994), M. Raha a.k.a. Monireh Baradaran (1997), and Effat Mahbaz (2008)—are important and necessary, but tend to recount events that are many years old and can sometimes be myopic in their focus on political divisions among prisoners.
On December 1st, 2010, the Levantine Cultural Center will celebrate its 9th anniversary in Southern California with the East-West Awards gala, during which we will recognize excellence in contributing to the dialogue between the Middle East and the United States.
The East-West Awards honor three of our favorite activists from the Arab, Iranian and American communities—Jodie Evans, Bana Hilal, and Roxana Saberi (see below bios). In addition to a sumptuous feast, we will be entertained by DJ Alsultany, comedian Maz Jobrani and special guest musical artists including Momo Loudiyi (performing with KC Porter, Rosa Rojas, Fella Oudane, Dahveed Haribol Das, and Rowan Storm). The evening is hosted by actress and activist Nazanin Boniadi.
Reviewed by Mana Mostatabi
Between Two Worlds, My Life and Captivity in Iran details the arrest of Iranian-American journalist, Roxana Saberi, and her subsequent 100-day stay at Iran's notorious Evin prison in early 2009, where she undergoes intense interrogations, solitary confinement, while meeting some of Iran's most prominent political prisoners and activists.
Tapping into a reserve of her own experience, and supplemented by thoughtful analysis and the lessons she learned from the political prisoners she met in Evin, Saberi exposes the injustices, oppression, and blatant abuses suffered by journalists, minorities, students, and activists at the hands of "certain people in power... exploiting that power to suppress individuals who they feared were threatening it."