Cal Humanities

"Part of resilience is finding joy, finding beauty, finding love."

— George Takei, Actor, Author, Director, Activist

"Part of resilience is finding joy, finding beauty, finding love."

— George Takei, Actor, Author, Director, Activist

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WOODLAND HILLS LIBRARY—Khānah, a Place of Belonging

September 19December 22

photo of woman with headscarves and prayer hands

Woodland Public Library is pleased to announce Khānah, a Place of Belonging, a series celebrating the cultural heritage of its immigrant communities. Image: Samia Karimi artist, educator and presenter at November 5 program. 

Events in this program series:

Lullaby collection: Recordings will take place from September 19, 2022 – November 28, 2022

The goals of this program are to document Afghan refugees’ heritage to preserve their songs and stories as the refugees assimilate in American society, transfer this cultural heritage to the future generations, recruit a team of teen volunteers to conduct interviews and technical preparation. Location: Woodland Hills Branch Library Community Room or Online.

International Women’s Club: Every other Wednesday, starting September 28, 2022 – November 30, 2022.

A group of immigrant women will gather either physically at the Woodland Hills Branch Library or online via Zoom to support and empower each other. The group will be given an opportunity to select their own discussion topics and/or activities. The library will provide any logistical and content support. The goal of this program is to create a space of belonging for women of different backgrounds in the library. Location: Woodland Hills Branch Library or Online.

Dance: A Window to the Beauty of Afghan Culture with Samia Karimi: Saturday, November 5, 2022

Samia will talk about her experience of immigration, Afghan culture, and her own choreography while demonstrating different types of dance from different parts of Afghanistan. Location: Woodland Hills Branch Library.

Author Talk: Saturday, November 16, 2022

YA author Zahra Omar Shansab and Children’s author Bahram Rahman will join a discussion on their books and their own stories of immigration to the United States. We will use this discussion as an opportunity for our community members to learn more about what Afghan refugees are currently experiencing as they integrate into our communities. Live streaming on YouTube and Facebook.

ELL classes: every Thursday, 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

This program offers opportunities to Afghan refugees and other English learners to gain and practice their English language skills while making connections with their peers, other community members, and the library and building their own community. Location: Woodland Hills Branch Library Community Room

Yalda Night Celebration and Closing Ceremony: December 17, 2022

Yalda or Chelleh is a December 17 celebration of the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year. Traditionally, this celebration includes large gatherings, poetry readings, singing, serving confectionery, fruits (especially pomegranate and watermelon), and dried nuts. It is a large family or community gathering with entertainment for all ages. We will celebrate this holiday as the finale of our program series on December 17, 2022 at the Woodland Hills branch, with The Persian Poetry Forum of Los Angeles. Local Afghan poets will present their poems and join discussions moderated by the forum coordinators. Activities include:

  • Book and media displays
  • A community exhibition highlighting the lullaby collection
  • A performance by the Afghan music band
  • Games and activities for children

This program is supported by the Library Innovation Lab.


September 19
December 22
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Woodland Hills Branch Library
22200 Ventura Boulevard
Woodland Hills, CA 91364 United States
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