MPV's 2017 Celebration of Life event brought together an energized and diverse group of Americans and international visitors, uniting around the progressive Muslim platform. Among our guests were Bassem Youssef, who received the Badshah Khan Beacon of Truth Award; Shohreh Aghdashloo; Jay Abdo and emcee Mona Shaikh, as well as Michael Alexander, Karima Bennoune and many more. Thanks to all who came out! [click photos to go forward]
MPV’s “Celebration of Life” presents a novel interactive approach raising awareness about human rights heroes, with celebrity guests delivering a monologue as the activists they are honoring.
Our 2017 honorees include:
Bassem Youssef, the former heart surgeon and satirist variously known in Egypt and throughout the Arab world as "the Egyptian Jon Stewart" for his show Al-Bernameg, will be present and honored with the 2017 Badshah Khan Beacon of Truth Award.
Amjad Sabri was a briliant Pakistani Sufi singer who was renowned world-wide for his pioneering work in Qawwali music. He was shot by a Taliban offshoot in June. His tragic murder has rocked the entire Muslim world.
Ashraf Fayadh is a Palestinian poet imprisoned in Saudi Arabia since 2014. His crime was distributing a book of his poems. Charged with apostasy for promoting atheism, he was sentenced to death before a Saudi court downgraded his sentence to eight years in prison and 800 lashes.
Paradise Sarouri is said to be Afghanistan's first female rapper, and defies cultural expectations by producing music that confronts violence against women. In 2013, hardline Islamists threatened Sarouri, demanding that she cease her work. She is currently living in Germany where she continues to make music.
Hila Sedighi is one of Iran's most celebrated young poets. An ardent supporter of the Green Movement, Sedighi recited poems criticizing the disputed election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Sedighi was arrested in January 2016 without charges. She was released two days later but due to her vocal resistance to the current regime, she constantly faces the threat of arrest.
Qandeel Baloch was a Pakistani model, actress, feminist activist and social media celebrity, famous for her sensational videos on social media. On July 15th, 2016, Baloch became yet another victim of "honor violence" when she was asphyxiated to death by her brother.
Join MPV for an elegant affair in Los Angeles, California. In a colorful program of personal tributes, poetry readings, and live music, we will laud the tireless efforts of artists and activists who have fought against human rights abuses in the world and sought to affirm the equal worth of all human beings. By celebrating and honoring these heroic defenders of #FreedomOfExpression and #FreedomOfConscience, MPV affirms that we can inspire others to do the same.
*Appetizers and soft drinks will be served with General Admissions. Cocktails available for purchase. Dress code is business casual. Space limited, reserve your seats online at Eventbrite.com now, or become a sponsor. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 323.696.2678.