Arab & Israeli Women in Entertainment Unite for an Unprecedented Evening, Proving Art Can Transcend Religion and Politics, at ‘Stand Up 4 Her’, LA Post-Event Press Release.
LOS ANGELES – (12.10.19), Women Creating Change’s (WCC) Founder Lee Broda, her founding team Inbal-Rotem Sagiv, Natasha Kermani, Shelly Skandrani, Natalie Marciano, Reem Edan, Eliya Reis and Micky Levy, and dozens of WCC members, presented an awe-inspiring event featuring powerful performances by renowned female comedians, poets, storytellers, performers and musicians who identify as Egyptian, Iranian, Iraqi, Israeli, Lebanese, Moroccan, Pakistani, Palestinian and Syrian.
The sold-out, star-studded event, with patrons such as Yael Grobglas (Jane the Virgin), Alon Aboutboul (The Dark Knight Rises), Sarah Idan (Miss Universe, Iraq 2017) and Inbar Lavi (Lucifer) had the audience laughing, crying and cheering.
The evening began with authentic Middle-Eastern hors d’oeuvres and a cocktail reception, sponsored by Stella Artois, Dulce Vida and Kyla Kombucha. Guests took pictures on the red carpet, then enjoyed a stunning art exhibition featuring artwork by Fadia Afashe (Syria), Pooneh Rafsha (Iran), Tasneem Rahman (Pakistan) and Ilanit Maghen (Israel), curated by Lauren Annette Schoth.
Lee Broda gave a moving introduction of WCC’s mission – to bring together women of different beliefs, religions and political views from the Middle-East. “We seek to inspire change and bridge cultural divides, we believe that together we are stronger because our similarities are greater than our differences” – Lee Broda.
“Stand Up 4 Her” kicked off with Muslim-Iraqi Comedian Reem Edan and Jewish-Israeli actress Gal Macadar “arguing” over who would host. “Let’s settle this like men. Meet me outside in five,” Edan said. “Or we can settle this like women and talk about it,” replied Macadar. (They decided to co-host.)
The show featured outstanding comedians Crystal Marie Denha, Melissa Shoshahi, Noam Shuster, Nina Kharoufeh, Natalie Marciano, Zain Shami and Mona Shaikh, who shared insights into being a modern Middle Eastern woman, humorously revealing they share the same plights.
Poets and storytellers like Ayser Salman gave emotionally provoking performances, reading original and borrowed work; Nawal Bengholam read a poem by Salma El-Wardany, Lee Broda shared her poem The Vow, from her poetry book “Whispers from the Moon”, “I promise to honor the woman in me… water her with light, feed her kindness, kiss her scars, bathe her with love.” Shelly Skandrani performed her poem Social Reconditioning, “Too busy convincing me that I don’t know my own desires, and the world admires your strength and conviction. My smile and submission.”
The event closed with a dessert reception by The Baklava Factory and Mamilla Restaurant, VIP guests even received gift bags with Converse Shoes and other goodies.
All proceeds raised from the evening will benefit WCC programs for female filmmakers. WCC is fiscally sponsored by the organization Women’s Voices Now. The event was held in partnership with Saddle Ranch Pictures, Tunnel Post, LB Entertainment, Tal Orion Conceptual Events, Women In Film, Alliance of Women Directors, New Filmmakers LA, Film Fatales and Women In Media.
Attendees revelled in the evening’s ambitious program. WCC Executive Director, Inbal-Rotem Sagiv, concluded: “Stand Up 4 Her has been a culmination of our efforts to shine a spotlight on talented yet often marginalized artists. This evening’s success is a significant win for WCC, and it’s only the beginning!”