Sometimes when I go and visit my 20-something son I get a sense of media from his perspective. And this often means watching Comedy Central. This is the channel that young men of his age are most often tuned into, and the other night they had a string of Arab comics on. It was a special called the Axis of Evil Tour and it was brilliant. WATCH IT
Dean Obeidalia deadpanned about how the next trend with white kids will be to go Arab, like the way they now ‘go black.’ “What up Arab!, they’d shout. And they’d be eating falafel, smelling like lamb, and driving cars decorated like taxicabs. He also riffed on what it would be like if he changed his given Arab name into its English translation.
“You call up the airline and say, ‘I’d like tickets to Vegas, this is Dean son-of-Allah,’ and yeah, that would be no problem.”. He joked about what it was like to have friends continually ask him stupid questions about the middle east. Like as if he’d know because his parents were Arabs. Maz Jobran remarked, ‘just once I’d like to see an Arab doing something good. Like baking cookies, instead of bombs.
Another comic named Ahmed Ahmed joked about life with a name like that. “I can’t fly anywhere,’ he said. ‘whenever I go to on a plane, I always know who the air marshall is, it’s always the guy with People Magazine upside down looking at me.”
These comedians are more than funny. They are a solution, in some ways, to the strife and problems we have abroad. I think if they played tapes of these guys, it might lighten people up about our differences and help. Really.