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Aussie Premiere of "Love is a Verb" Takes Place in Melbourne

On Tuesday 9 December 2014, AIS hosted the Australian premiere of the documentary Love is a Verb. The screening was held at Palace Cinema Como, featuring a Q&A session with director Terry Spencer Hesser and producer Hakan Berberoglu. Professor Rae Frances, dean of the Faculty of Arts at Monash University, gave the opening remarks, and George Donikian was the MC.

Love Is A Verb is an examination of a social movement of Sufi inspired Sunni Muslims that began in Turkey in the 1960s and now reaches across the globe. The group is called Hizmet (the Turkish word for service) or the Gulen Movement after its inspiration, leader and beloved teacher Fethullah Gulen, a man that Time Magazine named as one of the most influential leaders in the world in 2013.

Here is how the filmmakers describe their work:

"Through co-operation with the people inspired by Gulen, we had unprecedented access to the ideas and actions of the movement around the world. We met teachers who crawled through a tunnel to open a school in Sarajevo during the war and the students whose lives they changed. We met a Sufi conductor whose orchestra is composed of children whose parents were once at war. We got a glimpse of the interfaith work the movement provides in Turkey, including a visit to Rumi’s exquisite shrine. We went to their schools in Turkey, in Somalia, in Iraq. We meet a Kurdish teacher in Iraq who credits everything she is to her former Turkish teachers who stayed during the bombings, and a Kurdish woman who had also gone to one of the Turkish schools in Iraq and is now working as an engineer to bring water to the desert. Finally, in Somalia we followed two Turkish doctors putting their lives at risk in a place that other relief organizations have deemed too dangerous, a place where they sleep under armed guard."

Photos from Anatolian Cultures and Arts Festival

The Anatolian Cultures and Arts Festival took place on Saturday, 6 December 2014. Featured speakers during the VIP program included Mr Zakir Yildirim, President of the Istanbul Culture and Arts Centre; Ms Maria Vamvakinou MP, Federal Member for Calwell; Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius APM, Victoria Police; Mr Chin Tan, Chairperson of the Victorian Multicultural Commission; Campbell Chambers, Financial Services Executive at NAB; and Justice Shane Marshall, Federal Court of Australia.

The program was emceed by George Donikian.

Upcoming Events

Wed Mar 25, 2015 @ 6:30PM - 09:30PM
Muslim and Catholic Maryam Meal
Tue Apr 07, 2015 @12:00AM
Luncheon with Deborah Glass
Mon Jun 22, 2015 @12:00AM
2015 Victorian State Parliament Iftar Dinner
Wed Jun 24, 2015 @12:00AM
Balkan Communities Iftar Dinner
Sat Aug 01, 2015 @12:00AM
August Luncheon with Ged Kearney [date TBA]
Wed Oct 28, 2015 @12:00AM
Australia-Turkey Dialogue Platform [date TBA]

Past Events, Photos and Videos

Wed Dec 17, 2014 @ 7:00PM -
Whirling Dervishes 2014
Tue Dec 09, 2014 @ 6:00PM - 08:30PM
"Love is a Verb" Documentary
Sat Dec 06, 2014 @ 5:00PM - 07:00PM
2014 Anatolian Culture and Arts Festival VIP Program
Tue Nov 25, 2014 @10:30AM - 11:45AM
Morning Tea with Greg Barton and Mehmet Ozalp
Sat Nov 01, 2014 @10:00AM -
AIS Moves to a New Address
Wed Oct 15, 2014 @11:45AM - 01:45PM
Luncheon with Adam Bandt, Australian Greens Deputy Leader
Sat Sep 20, 2014 @12:00AM
Timeless Cities Study Tour to Turkey 2014
Mon Aug 25, 2014 @11:45AM - 01:45PM
Luncheon with the Lord Mayor of Melbourne
Thu Jul 24, 2014 @ 5:00PM -
La Trobe University Iftar Dinner 2014
Tue Jul 22, 2014 @ 5:00PM - 07:30PM
Deakin University Iftar Dinner 2014
Mon Jul 21, 2014 @ 5:00PM -
Commonwealth Bank Iftar Dinner
Fri Jul 18, 2014 @ 4:45PM -
Buddhist Iftar Dinner 2014
Tue Jul 15, 2014 @ 4:30PM -
Rotary Club Iftar Dinner 2014
Thu Jul 10, 2014 @ 4:30AM -
African Communities Iftar Dinner 2014

Intercultural Study Tours

The AIS is organising several projects for 2014 and 2015 which include a ANZAC Spirit Study Tour. For more information on Study Tour registration and itinerary, please contact the AIS. Read more...

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