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Please join us in the garden for a book launch and reading of The Donkey's Gone! by Omid Arabian and Shilla Shakoori. The Donkey's Gone! is Arabian and Shakoori's second book for children. The reading will be followed by musical performance by Eskandar Alexander Meimand on the tar and daft instruments and a whirling dance by Maura Tousignant.  

Adults and children are welcome. Capacity is limited and RSVP is required, please email

The 13th century Sufi mystic, Islamic scholar, Persian poet and storyteller Rumi remains a towering cultural force, and possibly the most widely read poet in the world--especially on the subject of love. The Doneky's Gone is parable for life lessons of joy and sorrow that will be universally understood by children in this adaptation by the Rumi scholar Omid Arabian, illustrated with great humor and authenticity by the Iranian-born artist Shilla Shakoori.

The Donkey's Gone! is based on a story from The Masnavi, which is an epic compilation of Rumi's wisdom in the form of poems and short stories. Adapted for children, it retains Rumi's wit and insight while also relating a cautionary tale about what we stand to lose when we imitate others and conform.

Omid Arabian is the founder and director of YOUniverval Center, where he conducts courses in Mysticim for adults and children. His translations of Rumi's poetry have been published in three volumes.

Shilla Shakoori is a contemporary artist from Tehran, Iran, currently based in Los Angeles. Shakoori's artistic output springs from an exploration of the synthesis between her native and adopted cultures. She credits Rumi with helping her connect with her cultural heritage and transcend it. 

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