Muslim-American comedian to perform

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Award-winning comedian Dean Obeidallah will perform Wednesday, February 22, at 7:30 p.m. in Grand Valley State University’s Cook-DeWitt Center, Allendale Campus. The event is open to the public with free admission.

The international performer has appeared on the “Axis of Evil” comedy show on Comedy Central and co-produced a new show, “The Watch List,” for Comedy Central’s Internet channel. It was the first show ever produced by a major American entertainment company to showcase all Middle Eastern-American performers. Obeidallah is also co-producing “The Muslims Are Coming,” a documentary that follows a group of Muslim-American comedians as they go on a tour of Middle America, perform shows, and meet people who have never met a Muslim before.

Obeidallah was co-creator of the New York Arab-American Comedy Festival and the executive director of The Amman Stand Up Comedy Festival, the first stand up comedy festival ever held in the Middle East. He also co-created the comedy show Stand up for Peace, along with Jewish comic Scott Blakeman, which they perform at colleges across the country in support of peace in the Middle East and as a way of fostering understanding between Arab, Muslim and Jewish-Americans. Obeidallah is also a frequent columnist for CNN.com and the Huffington Post.

This performance at Grand Valley is made possible through the Muslim Studies Program and the Asian Studies Center at Michigan State University, which were awarded a grant from the Social Science Research Council. Co-sponsorship is by Grand Valley’s School of Communications, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies, the Muslim Students Association and Middle East Studies, along with the Migrations of Islam project at Michigan State University, which supports examination of Muslim-American popular culture through a series of performances by Muslim artists. This performance is also in conjunction with the 2012 Year of Interfaith Understanding events at Grand Valley.

For more information, contact visiting professor of journalism Brian Bowe in the School of Communications at boweb@gvsu.edu.

A video of a report about Dean on NBC's Rock Center, from December, can be viewed at http://binged.it/A8HYVF.