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Saturday June 15th

Comedians bring laughter to annual Muslim dinner

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By Amani Salahudeen
Staff Writer

Youseff takes the stage (Darby VanDeVeen / Staff Photographer).

Comedians Ramy Youseff and Danish Maqbool energized the crowd with laughter at the Muslim Student Association’s 14th Annual Eid dinner on Oct. 15. 

Upon their arrival to the Brower Student Center Room 225, students were dressed in traditional desi clothes, such as shalwar kameez and kurtas, which are usually from Pakistan, India or Bangladesh. The bright, vibrant colors were evident as they entered the room.

The first comedian of the night was Danish Maqbool, who shared examples of similar scenarios in which people assumed the worst of him because he was a brown Muslim man. 

Maqbool also discussed slavery and touched on what it felt like to be discriminated against.  He also talked about how different things were for him as a Muslim man and some of the obstacles he faced while traveling. 

He talked about how he thought society would be faster than technology and explained how gay marriage is accepted by society now whereas flying cars don’t exist. 

“If you asked me if I thought we would see gay marriage would be accepted by society or if a flying car would come first; I would have said flying cars because at the time I had seen that in a movie, but I didn’t see gay marriages. However, the reason I said society moves faster than technology is because look at where we are today. Gay marriage is accepted by society, but there’s no signs of flying cars.” Maqbool stated. 

Maqbool also talked a lot about his fiancé and shared his experience with his fiance.

“I was going to cook (my fiancé) something,” Maqbool said. “I got into the Uber with a rice cooker. The driver thought it was a bomb.”

After his bit concluded, he introduced Ramy Youseff, a prominent Muslim comedian best known for his recent Hulu series, “Ramy.”

The show goes through anecdotes from Ramy’s childhood, as he tries to find the perfect balance between what it means to be a Muslim kid growing up with immigrant parents and doing his best to follow Islam. 

Youseff asked the audience how many Muslims and non-Muslims were present before catering the jokes to the audience. He then told a story of how he was in love with a Saudi girl, who started going to therapy. 

“She’d go to therapy on Saturdays, and leading up to it, I would tell her about all the ways I have been a positive asset to her,” Youseff said. “I didn’t want her to one day wake up and think that I was the reason she’s going to therapy, so I started going to therapy.”

When Youseff told his parents he was going to therapy, they were upset because they had thought he had lost faith in God. His parents assumed because he was going to therapy that he was leaving Islam. It was not until later that they realized this was not the case. 

“Now that I’ve been to therapy, I know that God cannot be your therapist,” Youseff said. 

He mentioned that his parents and other family members will call him and give him questions to ask his therapist. 

“So, now, my therapist is also my family’s therapist in a way.”

Ramy also discussed how after 9/11, there were spies at his college and near his masjid.

Youseff said, “You know, I was pretty dumb for not realizing sooner that my best friend was the informant. For one thing, his name was Michael (this was the fake name Ramy gave) and for another he ate pork. For those of you who don’t know, pork is haram (prohibited) for Muslims, so that should have been a dead giveaway.”

The guests could not stop bursting with laughter as they enjoyed the dinner and show, which provided an ideal break from the stress of midterms. A lot of his jokes were him interacting with the audience or talking about being a Muslim and falling in love for the first time. Some were slightly controversial, but audience members enjoyed it overall. 

Alongside the comic relief, the event was able to bring together cultures for a night of pure fun. He poked fun at some of the struggles he faced while he told the audience he had fallen in love with a girl from Saudi, and how with President Donald Trump being in office, he was unsure about whether or not he’d have to propose to keep her in the U.S. 

“I thought the event was awesome,” said freshman biology major Subhana Ahmed. “Danish and Ramy were super funny and relatable. The food was delicious. I got to meet a lot of desi/Muslim people which was great.”

Samreen Khateeb, a sophomore open options arts and communications major and MSA eboard member (she’s the Historian), believed the event was able to bring together cultures for a night of pure fun. In comparing the event to previous years, she felt that the dinner and show was very successful.

“The turnout this year was unbelievable,” Khateeb said. “This event is well overdue since it was such a great reminder of how easy it is to come together and forget our differences to support a somewhat of an interfaith event.”


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