Donations from readers like you allow us to do what we do. Please help us continue our work with a monthly or one-time donation.

Donate Today

Subscribe Today

Subscribe to receive daily or weekly MEMRI emails on the topics that most interest you.

Request a Clip

Media, government, and academia can request a MEMRI clip or other MEMRI research, or ask to consult with or interview a MEMRI expert.
Request Clip
Aug 23, 2013
Share Video:

Palestinian-American Stand-Up Comedian Maysoon Zayid: We Must Stop Killing One Another

#3991 | 03:30
Source: Mayadeen TV (Lebanon)

Following are excerpts from an interview with Palestinian-American stand-up comedian Maysoon Zayid, which aired on Al-Mayadeen TV on August 23, 2013:

Interviewer: We welcome Palestinian-American artist Maysoon Zayid, who has come to Bethlehem to do a stand-up comedy show, in which she deals with various issues.


Maysoon Zayid (on stage): In the U.S., brides toss their bouquets to the back after the ceremony, and all the single women are supposed to stand, run, and catch it. I always hated this, because I have CP and I cannot run. So they would throw the bouquet at me, hitting me on the head or shoulder... I would incur injuries at those weddings. But when it was my turn to get married, I had a different plan. Instead of throwing the bouquet back, I threw it forward. I'd like to tell you why. True, I have CP, and I cannot run, but I'm a Palestinian, and I know how to throw...


Maysoon Zayid (to interviewer): Palestine is the easiest place in the world to do stand-up comedy. The people here love to laugh. We have a history of comedy. It is nothing new to Palestine. People here are always joking around, and I feel that Palestine craves stand-up comedy.

We are a people that wants our voice to reach the people in the world, and what better way to convey your message than through laughter? We are constantly seeing images of children who are killed, people who destroy themselves, people composing obnoxious poetry. Who wants to see or hear such things? Everybody is fed up with this.

We need to find a different way, and I think that comedy is a very powerful way for the Palestinians to express what is going on with them, because when you walk down the street, and you see the anarchy that exists between the occupation, the government, and the people – if you don't laugh, you will never stop crying.


Interviewer: What message would you like to convey to the Palestinians and to the Arab world?

Maysoon Zayid: My message to the Arab world is not a funny one. In the Arab world – from Palestine to Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, and Sudan – we must get a grip on ourselves and stop killing one another. We must give women, the disabled, and human beings in general, their rights. We must get a grip and change the path we are on, because remaining in this state of death and despair will not benefit us in any way. So we'd better try something else.


Maysoon Zayid (on stage): You know, the last time, I performed in Bethlehem – and there is a video of the show – Mubarak was toppled. And today, he's back. That's because the leaders in our Arab countries are just like in the Turkish soap operas. Nobody dies. They all come back.

Share this Clip: