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Image Source: Central Queens Y

Prepare to be inspired without the Hollywood ending. The ReelAbilities: NY Disabilities Film Festival is part of the country’s largest showcase on the lives, stories and artistic expressions of those living with disabilities. Now in its fifth year, ReelAbilities mixes movies and documentaries by — and about — people with disabilities with post-screening discussions, presentations, speeches and other programs. On March 9 & 10, Queens-based activities will take place at the Museum of the Moving Image and the Central Queens Y with award-winning international short documentaries about people dealing with such maladies as Down syndrome, autism, Tourette’s syndrome, deaf-mutism and blindness. On March 11, the Central Queens Y’s program will feature Anita Hollander (pictured above), who has performed at the White House, Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center despite losing a leg to cancer three decades ago. Her musical performance and talk will emphasize her survival guide for life’s catastrophes.

Central Queens Y
67-09 108th Street, Forest Hills
Museum of the Moving Image
36-01 35th Avenue, LIC
Saturday, March 9, until Monday, March 11

Times vary | Museum admission, suggested donation

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Image Source: Drakonica

Chinese culture is arguably the world’s oldest and most diverse. More than 5,000 years old, its comes from a large geographical region with tremendous variety between provinces, cities and villages. However, under the current monolithic Communist government, there is limited freedom of expression. On February 11, Wenyi Wang, a pathologist and political activist born in Changchun, will discuss Chinese culture’s past, present and future at the Central Queens Y in Forest Hills. Wenyi, who also holds a Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of Chicago, is an ardent supporter of Chinese arts and a former journalist for The Epoch Times, specializing in medical issues. She has been the center of controversy, accusing the Chinese government of harvesting organs for profit from Falun Gong believers forced into labor camps. Light kosher Chinese refreshments will be served.

Forest Hills Celebrates 5,000 Years of Chinese Culture
Central Queens Y
67-09 108th Street, Forest Hills
Monday, February 11
1:30pm – 2:30pm | Free with $6 suggested donation

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Image source: Nick Hirshon

A new book on Forest Hills is going to be released mid-February, aptly called Forest Hills, the latest in Arcadia Publishing’s popular Images of America series. Forest Hills was America’s first “garden city” and if you’ve ever strolled through Forest Hills Gardens in particular, you’ll see how green and garden-like it can be (in the warmer months, of course). The book will show you this through its more than 200 vintage images of the neighborhood.

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Image Source: Holocaust Research Project

For the past two centuries, the Jewish experience in Hungary, home to Europe’s largest synagogue, has been a mixture of extreme darkness and shining light. In the 1900s, the Hungarian Jewish community was successful, respected and integrated into the larger society. At the turn of the 20th century, Jews comprised roughly 23% of the population of Budapest, the capital city. Nonetheless, this group was devastated during the Nazi Occupation and Holocaust, as neighbor turned against neighbor and thousands were killed, despite Swedish humanitarian Raoul Wallenberg‘s heroic rescue of an estimated 100,000 Jews in 1944. Agnes Veto will discuss the history of Hungarian Jewry at the Central Queens Y in Forest Hills on January 28. Born in Budapest, Veto is completing a Ph.D. in Jewish Studies at New York University. She was an adjunct professor in Jewish Studies at Vassar College.

Talk on the Hungarian Jewish Community
Central Queens Y
67-09 108th Street, Forest Hills
Monday, January 28
1:30pm – 3pm | Free with donation solicitation

Image Source: Central Queens Y

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Image Source: Central Queens Y
America’s longest war is now 12 years old, yet many Americans don’t understand Afghanistan and the background of the fighting there. Tamim Ansary will speak about the long struggle driving the conflict between the Taliban and other forces as part of an ongoing lecture series at the Central Queens Y. A prolific author who writes for the San Francisco Chronicle, the Los Angeles Times and Salon, Ansary was born and raised in Afghanistan, but has lived in the U.S. since 1964. In his new book, Game Without Rules, Ansary draws on his heritage and Muslim roots to explain Afghan history from the inside.
Central Queens Y
67-09 108th Street, Forest Hills
Monday, December 3
1:30pm – 2:30pm | $6 suggested donation

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Image Source: Central Queens Y

As part of the ongoing Central Queens Y Lecture Series, Wall Street Journal reporter Lucette Lagnado will discuss her new book, The Arrogant Years, about Lagnado’s mother, who had to flee Cairo after the city became hostile to Jews. She ended up in Brooklyn, where her family had trouble adjusting to the New World.

Central Queens Y Lecture Series
Monday, November 12
67-09 108th St., Forest Hills
1:30pm | $6/$3 for members

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On Monday, New York City Council Member Karen Koslowitz announced that a portion of Austin Street in Forest Hills will be renamed after one of the neighborhood’s best known residents, Geraldine Ferraro, DNAinfo.com reports.

Geraldine Ferraro was elected three times as member of the United States House of Representatives for the 9th Congressional District, leaving office early to join Walter Mondale’s bid for President in 1984. Ferraro made history as the first female – and first Italian American – candidate for Vice President on the ticket of a major political party. She spent most of her adult life as a resident of Queens.