Palestinian-American comedian, speaker, commentator, writer, and attorney Amer Zahr is the author of collection Being Palestinian Makes Me Smile and the blogger behind The Civil Arab. Zahr has produced and headlined the 1001 Laughs Comedy Tour, the We're Not White! tour, and the In 1948 tour, and he produces the annual 1001 Laughs Dearborn Comedy Festival in Michigan at the Arab American National Museum.
He’s recently wrapped production on his first documentary, We’re Not White, about the Arab-American struggle to get a box on the United States Census Form. He’s a regular commentator in American media, having appeared on Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher and written for Time magazine. He’s performed across the United States and the Middle East.
Amer Zahr spoke with me via Skype on March 4, 2015, about the craft of stand-up comedy that has its own cultural and political gravity in an era of the oppression of his own people. We began by talking about how writing is the basis of his comedy creation.
Coming up in Edmonton on Saturday, March 14 is the third annual Palestinian Bazaar, a celebration of Palestinian culture, arts, and resilience, with films, displays, music, food, and an evening comedy show featuring acclaimed comics Dean Obeidallah and Amer Zahr. For tickets or more information, visit humanserve.org.