By Heather Yamour
WASHINGTON, Sept 1 (KUNA) -- Like satirical construction workers, American
comedians of Middle East origin, calling themselves the "Axis of Evil," have
helped build a bridge here between Americans and Middle Easterners through
They have sold out venues across the country, ranging from small comedy
clubs to massive auditoriums and now readying to tour the Arab World.
The trio, made up of Egyptian-American Ahmed Ahmed, along with
Palestinian-American Aron Kader, Iranian-American and Maz Jobrani, told KUNA
Saturday they have teamed up with Showtime Arabia to take their show across
the Arab World.
The group banded together seven years ago, in Hollywood California
originally under the name "Arabian Nights," but changed to the "Axis of Evil"
in 2005, based on a concept introduced by President George W. Bush, comprising
Iraq, Iran and North Korea. The group said that they were looking for a funny
North Korean comedian, but could not find any.
Weeks after the September 11th attacks and the tensions facing Americans of
Middle Eastern descent at an all time high, they picked up their routine, with
trepidation, but found a groundswell of support from the audience.
"People started wanting to hear Middle Eastern comedy and point of view.
The American public was curious 'What's so funny about Middle Eastern people?
"said Ahmed, born in Helwan, Egypt and emigrated with his family to the US
when he was a month old.
Up on stage, each of the members discuss a myriad of topics to get the
laughs but they do address politics, the nuanced and nonviolent parts of
Middle East culture, and making light of their own experiences in the U.S.
"Whenever I get on a plane I always know who the air marshal is. He is the
one reading the People magazine upside down staring straight at me," said
Ahmed, who unfortunately shares the same name as another Egyptian listed on
the FBI's Most Wanted List.
Most of the audience at the Axis of Evil comedy shows, said the comics
represented 60 percent of Middle Easterners while the other 40 percent
The group is readying to embark on the first tour in the Middle East.
Their middle east tour is expected to blend both sides of the East-West
divide, and according to the trio, they expect to censor some parts of their
material, namely religious, relationship jokes, while on tour but are overall
excited to embark on their unprecedented journey.
Plans are in the making to produce a documentary film on their two-month
tour expected to begin in November, performing in cities like Beirut, Cairo,
and Dubai. (End)
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