Layla’s Mixed Sorts

December 5, 2008

Stand-up Comedy Show in Amman

Filed under: Humor — laylanajia @ 4:44 am

I’ve always believed that laughter and humor has a very critical role in my life, whether when I’m in a relationship, or between me and my siblings and friends, or even between me and my employer. Humor is always a good thing in any relationship; it helps loosen things up a bit. You wouldn’t want to spend your life with a partner who doesn’t make you laugh, who doesn’t know how to take jokes or a person that doesn’t really laugh and wears a frown all the time, now would you? Laughter and humor relieves tension, lift spirits, and brings people much closer together.

 Weird how I never noticed that the whole Arab world doesn’t have a single stand-up comedy show. My attention was brought up to this fact when I heard about the first Amman Stand-Up Comedy Festival scheduled to be held between 2 and 5 December, 2008, at Al Hussein Cultural Center in Jordan. I went to their show today that featured a line-up of four American- Arabs, a Jordanian, a Canadian, an American and an Australian. Russell Peters is actually here too and will be performing tomorrow.

Apparently, before the comedians decided to come to the Middle East and perform their comedian talents, they admitted that they actually hesitated to come because they ‘know’ that ‘Arabs do not know how to laugh’, which I believe is a polite way of saying “Arabs do not understand jokes, In English”.  They said that now they have come to realize that not only do Arabs laugh at jokes like on relationships, sex, politics, the government, race, religion, pop culture, or even identical jokes they have told to American audiences, but they even have no problem laughing at jokes about their own funny habits.

 Ofcourse, in order for them to attract the Jordanian audience and have them laugh at their jokes, they had to observe funny Jordanian culture habits.  It was hilarious to hear their jokes about Jordanian taxi drivers, their accents, or how during the ride they talk none-stop about their life stories, and ask 100 questions about yours. They joked about how Arab guys are like in dance clubs, and how they dance with their hips. More jokes were told about ‘Time’ with Arabs, and how everything is ‘after 10 minuets’. And ofcourse, a word all foreigners learn when they come to Jordan, they joked about ‘Wasta’.

 They also joked about the typical Political topics like Arab’s problems with terrorism, President Bush and President Elect Obama, Sarah Palin.  As well as social jokes like marriage vows and why men cheat.

 It was indeed a good show, their hard work was evident, great laugh, very organized, rich media coverage, and heavily sponsored by top organizations in Amman.  The comedy festival is a non-profit program developed by the Greater Amman Municipality; their goal was not only to entertain, but to break stereotypes and show that Arabs, ‘do laugh’.

 The first video below is a video of my favorite guy out of the four Arab American comedians, Ahmad Ahmad, joking about the Muslim and Arab culture. He was brilliant today, charming and witty. The other video is Aron Kader, also as brilliant.

Their show today is not on youtube yet, but I sure will post it once it gets there.  

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