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Comedian Bios

Atheer Yacoub

Atheer Yacoub is a Brooklyn based comedian and writer, whose comedy is inspired by her Palestinian-Muslim upbringing in Alabama. Atheer has a half-hour special on Comedy Central Arabia and has been featured on AXSTV’s Gotham Comedy Live. She has written for the Emmy award-winning channel BRIC TV on The Breakdown and Passport Control. She’s also the co-creator of the sketch comedy show Muslim Girls DTF: Discuss Their Faith, which won Series Fest Best Independent Comedy Writing. Atheer also co-hosts The No Fly List podcast which features funny conversations with other comedians, artists, and interesting people of color. She has been featured in numerous comedy festivals and tours domestically and internationally.

Bilal Sharmoug

Bilal is a Palestinian American comedian based out of the Los Angeles area. He can be found performing all over the city and he was recently in Palestine performing for the 1001 Laughs Palestine Comedy Festival. Bilal has been featured on multiple national commercials for companies such as; Microsoft, Draft Kings, Fox Sports and much more. Bilal can be seen on the latest seasons of the CW’s All American playing #79 Ross Sheldon.

Christian John

Christian John is an Arab-American NYC based stand up comedian of Egyptian decent who has been featured on SiriusXM Radio, the 2021 New York Arab American Comedy Festival, and the 2022 5th Borough Comedy Festival. His act discusses growing up as a native New Yorker with an Arabic background, working in healthcare, and the struggles of being newly married.

Dean Obeidallah

Dean Obeidallah (Festival co-creator/co-producer) is a lawyer turned writer, radio host and award-winning comedian. His radio program, “The Dean Obeidallah show” can be heard nightly across the United States and in Canada on SiriusXM. He writes weekly for and on issues from politics to comedy to the Muslim community. Dean was one of the stars of Comedy Central’s “Axis of Evil” special and has appeared on “Comics Unleashed,” ABC’s “The View,” “Good Morning America” and frequently on MSNBC. In addition, Dean co-directed/co-produced the comedy documentary, “The Muslims are Coming!” designed to combat anti-Muslim bigotry and co-created “Stand up for Peace” to bring Muslims, Jews, Christians and all people together to laugh.

Paul Elia

Paul Elia is an LA-based standup comedian and content creator from Detroit, Michigan. Among the few Chaldeans/Assyrians in Hollywood, the Iraqi-American artist has appeared in dozens of films and television shows including Ramy, Lady Dynamite and is perhaps best known for his recurring roles on TBS’s Conan, appearing in over a dozen sketches. Currently, he stars in Fuse’s hit show We Need To Talk About America (which recently got renewed for a 2nd season) along side Timothy Delaghetto, Zainab Johnson, and Aida Rodrigues. In the animation world, Paul is currently recording multiple recurring roles in a new Untitled Animation with Amazon and A24 slated to be released mid 2023.

Eman Morgan

Eman Morgan is an Egyptian American Stand Up Comedian based in New York and has quickly become one of the funniest middle eastern stand up comedians today. He performs nightly across the vibrant city at various clubs and mics. He loves interacting with an audience and bases his material off life experiences with Arabic & English humor.

Fady Rizk

Fady Rizk, a NYC based Egyptian bilingual stand-up comic, his routine supports the idea of minimizing judgements about Arabs with playful relief. He has been featured on Comedy Central Arabia. He immigrated to New York after living in Egypt and Dubai and was able to share the stage with Jim Gaffigan, and perform at various comedy clubs and theaters like: Gotham Comedy Club, The Comic Strip, Broadway, Caroline’s, NY Comedy Club, Eastville comedy club, National theater of Ghana and the Music hall in Dubai. He participated in the NYC Arab American comedy festival, He also opened for Maz Jobrani, and others. Fady helps different backgrounds see the bigger picture while breaking down stereotypes and how they can affect the communities we live in. His goal is to assist the public’s view on individuals as humans, not just as groups that are segmented into boxes.

Ismael Loutfi

Ismael Loutfi is a peabody-winning writer and comedian who’s appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live as well as his own Comedy Central Special “Sound it Out.” He wrote for Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj.

Jon Elias

Jon Elias has been performing Stand Up and Improv comedy in NYC for over a decade. Audiences say that he brings a story telling style of comedy and jokes centered around social observation/commentary. Jon has performed in many venues including Atlantic City casinos, NY comedy clubs, theaters, and local colleges bringing his perspective wherever he performs.

Khaled Khalafalla

Khaled Khalafalla has performed his powerhouse stand-up comedy around the world – to royalty in the Middle East, Australian troops in Afghanistan and to the invitation-only New York Comedy Festival. He’s also toured with Jim Jefferies on several of his recent Australian tours, opening his biggest show in front of 10,000 people at Perth Arena, a well as blazing a trail across big and small screens with scene-stealing roles in Upper Middle Bogan, Ali’s Wedding, Utopia and That’s Not My Dog. He’s also twice been featured in the prestigious Just For Laughs showcase at Sydney Opera House. Do not miss Australia’s fastest rising star in peak funny form.

Laura Laham

Laura Laham is a third culture Syrian American stand up comedian who has performed all around the U.S. Her comedy has been described as smart, silly, and unique as she often expresses witty takes on the first-gen experience, her former life as an engineer, and everyone’s obsession with religion. She’s opened for national headliners like Bassem Youssef, been featured as Best of the Fest in the Burbank Comedy Festival, and is incredibly excited to return to the NY Arab American Comedy Festival.

Majdy Fares

Majdy Fares is a Palestinian-American comedian and champion storyteller from Dearborn, Michigan.

Marena Riyad

The Femme Fatale of the Middle East, Marena Riyad offers a refreshingly unique perspective on observational comedy as a Palestinian-Texan Muslim Woman. A runner up for the Funniest Comedian in the Heartland and Semi-Finalist for Funniest Comedian in Texas, Marena’s silver-tongued comedy serves up a platter of gender role deconstruction with a side of truth and controversy that’s bound to have you coming back for seconds.

Maysoon Zayid

Maysoon Zayid is a comedian, actress, writer, and disability advocate. She is a graduate of Arizona State University and a Princeton Fellow. Maysoon is the co-founder/co-executive producer of the New York Arab American Comedy Festival and The Muslim Funny Fest. She was a full-time On Air Contributor to Countdown with Keith Olbermann and a columnist for The Daily Beast. She has appeared on 60 Minutes, CNN, ABC News, and Oprah Winfrey Networks. Maysoon had the most viewed TED Talk of 2014 and was thrilled to collaborate with Huda Beauty. As a professional comedian, Maysoon has sold out top New York clubs and has toured extensively at home and abroad. She was a headliner on the Arabs Gone Wild Comedy Tour and The Together Live Tour. Maysoon appeared alongside Adam Sandler in You Don’t Mess With the Zohan and has written for Glamour magazine. She limped in New York Fashion Week and is a recurring character on General Hospital. She is the author of the best-selling memoir Find Another Dream and is collaborating with Scholastic on her debut comic book Shiny Misfits.

Mohamed Alghondakly

Mohamed Alghondakly is a 21-year old up and coming stand-up comedian born in Egypt and raised in North Jersey. He is currently a student at Princeton University studying Economics, Near Eastern Studies, and Arabic. He started his comedy journey through Maysoon Zayid’s comedy class, “The Art of Standup.” Since then, he’s debuted at “The Big Brown Show” and performed throughout comedy clubs in NYC.

Mohanad Elshieky

Mohanad Elshieky is a New York based, Libyan born comedian who made his national TV debut on Conan and has been featured on Comedy Central. He is one of the hosts of Lemonada’s webby nominated podcast I’M SORRY where each week they unravel the latest and greatest in twitter gaffes, petty beef and not-so-subtle shade. In 2018, he appeared in an episode of Epix’s “Unprotected Sets” and was listed as one of Thrillist’s 50 Best Undiscovered Comics. Mohanad has a special skill for making you laugh at the seemingly unlaughable. The Libyan-born comedian combines a deceptively laid-back demeanor with his whip-smart perspective on politics and culture. The Portland Mercury called him “an undisputed genius of comedy,” and he’s been featured on podcasts such as Lovett or Leave It, Pod Save The People and Harmontown. He also toured across the country with the critically acclaimed storytelling show Pop Up Magazine and worked as a digital producer for Sam Bee’s critically-acclaimed show Full Frontal. Elshieky zeroes in on topics that seem off limits – then surprises you with how hard you’re laughing.

Nina Kharoufeh

Nina Kharoufeh is an Arab-American Muslim standup comedian, author, and amateur boxer. After graduating from Montclair State College of the Arts with a Bachelor’s degree in media, Nina discovered her passion for comedy and began performing all over the states as well as internationally. Her first published book, “I’m a Princess Too,” (available anywhere books are sold) centers around a young Muslim girl just trying to live a normal life, which is what most of her stand up deals with. Nina has been seen on The Food Network, TRT, Al Jazeera and has opened for comedians including Tiffany Haddish, Godfrey, Luenell, & more.

Pete Dominick

Pete Dominick is a podcaster, stand-up comic, speaker, news commentator, host, journo activist, moderator, professional speaking consultant, husband, and proud father of two daughters. Pete was selected for the very coveted gig as the warmup comic, first for Jon Stewart and The Daily Show, and then The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, where he worked for most of its run. CNN hired him in as their man on the street which led to him becoming a regular panel commentator, eventually taking the host role of his own CNN show “What the Week.”

Remy Munasifi

Remy Munasifi (“GoRemy”) is a comedian from McLean, Virginia whose YouTube videos have been viewed over 100 million times. His songs include “Hey There Khalilah,” “Saudis in Audis,” “A-R-A-B: The Rap,” and “Tabbouleh: The Song.” He starred in the sitcom “Brown Nation” and his album, “The Falafel Album” is available on Comedy Central Records.

Rola Z

Rola Z is a comedian, producer, and community builder in DC. She is the creator of TRAUMEDY, DC’s only Dark Comedy show and has been dubbed ‘Traumedian’ by the Washingtonian. She has taken her shows to the Kennedy Center and Union 

Stage, to a sold-out crowd and co-created DC Traumedy Festival. Rola is the creator and host of FUNNY ARABS SHOW a sold out sensation highlighting various Arab American talents from across the US and Canada.

Rola Z has performed at the NY Arab-American Comedy Festival at the Gotham Comedy Club, DC Improv, DC Comedy Loft, Miracle Theater, Richmond FunnyBone, featured for Zarna Garg, opened for Sammy Obeid and performed in Montreal. In DC, she found that audiences love the vulnerability of her brand of Traumedy and that of the shows she puts on. She spotlights political issues, first-world problems, and the joys of getting older. 

Rola Z has been featured in DCist, WAMU, WTOP News, District Fray, Washingtonian, The National, Dubai TV, WUSA9 and Canadian media outlets.

Shatha Yas

Shatha Yas is a comedian, actor, and writer raised in Palestine and based in NYC. Shatha can be seen performing standup all over New York and her writing has been featured on The Belladonna and Points in Case. She likes to joke about people she meets, social issues, and politics. Her solo show, I Did Something in Palestine, debuted at Soho Playhouse in May 2022, and was selected as a finalist for the 2022 Yes And… Laughter Lab.

Salma Hindy

Salma Hindy is a first generation Egyptian-Canadian Comedian. With her fast rise to comedy, Salma has opened for Ken Jeong, Maz Jobrani, Ramy Youssef, Beth Stelling, James Adomian, and has most recently opened for Chelsea Handler on her Peoples Choice Awards Winning Tour: Vaccinated & Horny. She has performed at various comedy festivals including most recently the Chelsea Handler Gala and New Faces at the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal. Salma’s performed on CBC’s Laugh Out Loud, CBC Gem’s “New Wave of StandUp” , Comedy Night with Rick Mercer, CTV’s Stand Up with Jon Dore and Seasons 1 & 2 of Roast Battle Canada. Salma has her own episode on True Dating Stories where she chronicles going on a blind date chaperoned by her Imam father. Salma’s debut comedy album, Born on 9/11 has recently received rave reviews on Hype Magazine, The Star, Comedy Cake, Patron and Pearl and The Manitoban. In addition to her booming stand up career, Salma is an emerging screenwriter and actress. She is currently voicing a series regular and works in the writers’ room for Ramy Youssef’s Amazon adult animated show. Salma currently has her own half-hour scripted comedy series in development with Crave (Bell media). She gave a Tedx talk about her emotional journey in comedy titled “Why People Pleasing is Hurting You.”

Sammy Obeid

Lebanese-Palestinian American, born in Oakland California, Sammy Obeid double majored in Business and Mathematics at UC Berkeley and then turned down a job at Google to be a comedian. Now the host of 100 Humans on Netflix, he’s also appeared on NBC’s Last Comic Standing and America’s Got Talent, as well as TBS’s Conan, and is best known for his world record of performing comedy 1,001 nights in a row, a story featured in both Time Magazine and The New York Times.

Dave Merheje

Dave Merheje is considered to be one of the most original stand-up acts on the comedy scene today. His multiple award-winning act has gained a loyal following across in North America with his “no fear” approach on stage and a comedy style best described as aggressive in-your-face funny. Dave had his first comedy special air in Australia on ABC2, and has made appearances on Comedy Network’s Match Game, was a regular contributor on MTV Live, recurred on CBC’s Mr. D, and he co-stars in the comedy series Ramy on Hulu.

Hanan Issa

Hanan Issa is a Lebanese comedian and writer born, raised, and based in NYC. She has been featured on Radio Free Brooklyn and can be seen regularly performing in NYC and beyond. This year, Hanan debuted her first solo show, “Halal Habibis,” which is a story about a young Muslim woman’s journey to get married after navigating lifelong, complex relationships with love, family, and religion. Hanan also co-produces the “Educated Arabs” online video series and multiple comedy shows across the city.

Reem Edan

Reem Edan is an Iraqi-American content creator, award-winning writer, actress and internationally touring stand-up comedian. She can be seen performing in Arabic on Shahid VIP’s “The Stand Up Sketch Show,” is an alumni of the NBC Late Night Writing Program and Rooster Teeth Digital Creator Program, and has written for companies like Netflix, Disney, Warner Brothers and more. She’s also gained several million views online for her comedy sketches that discuss the nuances of her Arab and Muslim-American identity… all in hopes of one day having her parents admit that this is a REAL job.

Go Remy

Remy Munasifi (“GoRemy”) is a comedian from McLean, Virginia whose YouTube videos have been viewed over 100 million times. His songs include “Hey There Khalilah,” “Saudis in Audis,” and “All About That Paste.” He starred in the sitcom “Brown Nation” and his album, “The Falafel Album” is available on Comedy Central Records. He currently posts weekly on his gaming YouTube channel “MTGRemy.”

Eman El- Husseini