June 30 (Sat), 4-10 pm at at UCLA's Fowler
Can literature, music, art bridge the Middle
East and the West? Writers/editors and musicians create a culture jam to blure
the divide. A public conversation with Reza Aslan, Nathalie Handal and Sholeh
Wolpé, moderated by Jordan Elgrably, followed by a reception and a concert with
Niyaz at UCLA's Fowler Museum.
Writers and editors of major anthologies featuring
work from and about the Middle East discuss the role of literature in moving
Western consciousness away from the terrorists and fanatics towards the cultural
heritage of that region. To what extent can such anthologies play a role in
bringing about a more balanced sense of shared humanity, and how can they
contribute to the ongoing dialogue now taking place between the East and the
There is an emerging international literary voice that is
suggestive of a powerful and sustained interest in Middle Eastern cultures, and
in the culture of its worldwide diaspora. It is a voice that is diverse and
complex, shaped by the forces of immigration, exile, political upheaval, and
revolution. Reza Aslan, Nathalie Handal and Sholeh Wolpé present the case for
culture and discuss the important conciliatory role such anthologies can play in
the present political climate.
Organized and presented by Levantine
Cultural Center and the Fowler Museum with the support of the Center for Near
East Studies-UCLA and PEN Center West. Members of Levantine Cultural Center, the
Fowler Museum, CNES and PEN, as well as students, receive a discount on event
tix: Panel, reception and concert with Niyaz, general admission, $30,
members/students price, $25. Panel event only, 4-6 pm, general admission $15,
members/student price, $10. Purchase online below, or call
Aslan is the author of No god but God: The
Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam (Random House, 2005) and Editor in
Chief of the upcoming Norton Anthology of Modern Literature of the Muslim
World. An internationally acclaimed writer and scholar of religions, Reza
Aslan is a regular commentator for NPR's Marketplace and Middle East Analyst for
CBS News and has made several appearances on The Daily
Show with Jon Stewart. He is a research fellow
with USC's Center for Public Diplomacy and a national advisory board member of
Levantine Cultural Center.
Handal is a poet, playwright and editor of The
Poetry of Arab Women and co-editor of the forthcoming Norton Anthology of
The Contemporary Poetry of the Eastern World.
Wolpé is a poet, translator and editor of the
forthcoming anthology Iconoclasts and Visionaries. Her books include
The Scar Saloon and Sin: The Poetry of Forough
(moderator) is co-editor of the forthcoming anthology Iconoclasts and
Visionaries and author of the forthcoming book of author interviews,
Politics of the Word.
Niyaz Three prominent artists, Azam Ali,
best known as the vocalist of the successful world music group Vas, Loga Ramin
Torkian, the multi-instrumentalist and composer for the critically acclaimed
group Axiom of Choice, and Carmen Rizzo, a two time Grammy Award nominee
producer/ remixer, have joined forces to create a globe-spanning sound that the
trio calls "world music for the 21st century."
Fowler Museum, UCLA. 308 Charles E Young Dr N, Los Angeles, CA 90095.
Cultures of the Middle East & Mediterranean
1012 S. Robertson
Blvd., Suite C
Los Angeles CA 90035-1537
Founded in the summer of 2001 by several Americans
of North African/Middle Eastern heritage, Levantine Cultural Center (LCC) has
become a highly visible and prolific pan-cultural arts project for Middle
Eastern cultures, producing numerous groundbreaking performances and lectures.
LCC often forms cross-cultural partnerships with like-minded organizations,
curates multidisciplinary programs, and regularly includes Arabs/Muslims,
Christians and Jews in its outreach, attracting culturally and religiously
diverse audiences. LCC celebrated its fifth anniversary in 2006 with a series of
worldbeat shows, literary events in the series "Maktub: New Writing From/To the
Mideast" and the monthly comedy/satire show "Sultans of Satire: Middle East
Comic Relief." Info 310.657.5511.