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Being Palestinian
Makes Me Smile

starring Amer Zahr, Said Durrah, Mona Aburmishan, & Mike Easmeil

New York City
Carnegie Hall

February 5, 2016
7:30 PM
Buy Tickets

Philadelphia
Trinity Center

February 6, 2015
7:30 PM
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20160119_zahr
The Republican party, too white to win
by Amer Zahr January 17th, 2016 (3 Comments)

In the 1988 American presidential election, 60% of white voters cast their ballots for Republican candidate George H.W. Bush.  He ended up winning 426 electoral votes.

In order to take the presidency of the United States, a candidate must win in the electoral college. Don’t make me explain the electoral college to you.  Ok, fine, I will.

Each state is allotted a number of electoral votes equal to its number of congressional seats (House Representative + Senators).  Additionally, the District of Columbia gets three electoral votes.  That gives us 538 electoral college votes (435 House members + 100 Senators + 3 for DC).  A presidential candidate wins all of a state’s electoral votes by winning more of that state’s popular votes than any other candidate.  So, in a two-candidate race, if a candidate wins 60% of the vote in California on election day, he/she gets all of California’s 55 electoral votes.  The same would be true if he/she won 65%, or 59%, or 50.0001%.

In order to become president, …

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20151225_zahr
Jesus, the radical Palestinian activist
By Amer Zahr
December 25th, 2015 (11 Comments)

We Palestinians see ourselves in the shadow of Jesus.  Two thousand years ago, Palestinians were the first followers of his message, and whether particularly religious or not, we take that lineage quite seriously.  We are the protectors of his traditions, the original stewards of his good news.

And we are pretty proud that we’re the descendants of the most famous person in the history of the world.  Let me say that again.  Most. Famous. Person. Ever.  Let that sink in.  Yeah, he was one of us.

In our ongoing struggles, we Palestinians see Jesus every day. He was told that he was not welcome in his native land.  He fought against an absolute, ruthless, occupying power. He stood by his message, no matter the cost.  He went through rebellion, rejection, abandonment, suffering, and, eventually, vindication.  I have no doubt we are following his exact path.  Jesus was a Palestinian back then, and he would have been one today too.

I just wish he had social media like we do today.  I would have loved to …

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20151211_zahr
What is Trump’s secret to success? 2042!
By Amer Zahr
December 11th, 2015 (6 Comments)

Theories abound as to why Donald Trump has enjoyed such a meteoric political rise.  Is it because he appeals to working-class Americans frustrated about their future?  Is it his strong stances on security?  Has he risen to political fame simply because he’s, well, famous?

Trump has vowed to make “America Great Again,” albeit with few concrete details as to how that might happen.

“I’ll build a wall.” “I’ll ban the Muslims.” “I will be ISIS’ worst nightmare.”

We know he’s wrong on that last one.  The ISIS faithful are surely stroking each other’s beards celebrating Trump’s ability to provide them with free recruiting material. (I’m an Arab, so I can make that beard joke.  White people can’t repeat it, unless they give me credit, of course.)

But as I watch all the fanfare, the coverage of all his rallies stands out most.  I see who his supporters are, and, perhaps more importantly, who they aren’t.  Only 3% of black voters said they would vote for Trump in a general election.  Similarly, only 11% of Latinos

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20151127_zahr
Laquan the Palestinian
By Amer Zahr
November 27th, 2015 (2 Comments)

He was brash. Reckless. Audacious. Walking right in front of police officers like he had nothing to fear.  It was lunacy.  His chest out, invincible.  It was a defiance of the highest order. Utterly insane.  How could he have cared about his own life, his own future, doing such things?

It is impossible for me too see the murder of Laquan McDonald through anything other than my Palestinian eyes.  It is impossible for me to see that cop shoot him, an unthreatening young man, sixteen times, mostly while he lay still on the ground, without thinking of the countless Palestinian boys similarly gunned down by Israeli police and civilians alike.  It is impossible for me not to feel the same simultaneous feelings of sadness, anger, disenfranchisement, and a glaring absence of shock.

Of course, some in my Palestinian community (especially here in America) will refuse to see the connection.  They will say we are nothing like them.  They are wrong.  But what is more concerning than their disagreement with me …

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20151118_zahr
You may yearn to breathe free, unless you’re Muslim
By Amer Zahr
November 19th, 2015 (5 Comments)

The inscription on the Statue of Liberty reads:

Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses, yearning to breath free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, Send these, the homeless, tempest tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

The horrific attacks in Paris last Friday by ISIS-affiliated criminals, resulting in the murders of 129 innocent people, were part of a quite scary rash of assaults. The downing of the Russian jetliner over Egypt, which killed 224 innocent people, and the market bombing in Beirut, which occurred just a day before Paris and killed 43 innocent people, were also the work of these lunatics. One may call the perpetrators extremists, jihadists, radicals, terrorists, or simply, and perhaps most fittingly, a–holes. In any case, their crimes seem to be targeted to cause not only mass death, but mass fear as well. And sadly, at least as far as many American politicians (especially those on the right) seem to be posturing, ISIS is getting …

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20151027_zahr
The lazy reporting around Detroit’s anti-Israel billboard
By Amer Zahr
October 28th, 2015 (1 Comment)

Late last week, WXYZ Detroit, the local ABC news affiliate here, told us about an eye-catching billboard in the city.  The “controversial” advertisement reads “America First,” and underneath that, in much larger letters, “NOT ISRAEL.”  The bottom of the billboard notes who footed the bill for it: “Paid for by Deir Yassin Remembered.”

Of course, while the billboard is a simple exercise of free speech, albeit on a hot topic, the real story was WXYZ’s terrible, irresponsible, and amateur reporting on the whole episode.  First, the news station reported (and continues to report) that the billboard reads, “America first over Israel,” something it clearly does not, as one could observe from the photo above, which was also in WXYZ’s story.  Now, you might say, what’s the substantive difference between “America first over Israel” and “America first not Israel”?  Perhaps there is none at all.  But it does show how little thought was put into WXYZ’s work on the story.

And it didn’t stop there.  The news team immediately defined the story in a …

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20151022_zahr
Wait, Netanyahu said what?
By Amer Zahr
October 22nd, 2015 (3 Comments)

There were warning signs. We all knew he was a little off, but I never thought it would get this bad.

I have heard him call Palestinians a “demographic threat.” Of course, labeling indigenous people a “demographic threat” to a colonizing enterprise is pure nonsense. So, I knew he was a little bizarre, but even I never thought it would get this bad.

I have heard him call Israel the “one and only” Jewish state. Of course, as far as I know, no other person or entity, not even the Upper East Side of Manhattan, has made a claim. So, I knew he was a little out of touch, but even I never thought it would get this bad.

I have heard him speak in front of the United Nations many times. This is where his delusion has made special appearances. Just this year, he spent 44 seconds staring at the audience. It was awkward. In 2013, while talking about Iran at the United Nations, I heard …

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20150922_zahr
President Obama, please say something
By Amer Zahr September 22nd, 2015 (5)
20150915_zahr
A New Generation for Palestine
By Amer Zahr September 15th, 2015 (7)
20150901_zahr
Israel, you must be so embarrassed
By Amer Zahr September 1st, 2015 (8)
20150818_zahr
Palestine, the alternate universe
By Amer Zahr August 17th, 2015 (8)
20150728_zahr
Are immigrants stealing American jobs?
By Amer Zahr July 28th, 2015 (5)
20150717_zahr
A letter to Lindsey Graham about Mohammad
By Amer Zahr July 17th, 2015 (5)
20150710_zahr
Israel can’t survive the world wide web
By Amer Zahr July 10th, 2015 (4)
20150621_zahr
Dear America, this is our ISIS
By Amer Zahr June 21st, 2015 (3)
20150618_zahr
We have no right to be shocked
By Amer Zahr June 18th, 2015 (3)
20150603_zahr
A Palestinian’s guide to Palestine
By Amer Zahr June 3rd, 2015 (6)
20150515_zahr
After 67 Years, Palestinians are finally cool
By Amer Zahr May 15th, 2015 (4)
20150508_zahr
Some advice for Pamela Geller
By Amer Zahr May 8th, 2015 (11)
20150501_zahr
Welcome to the Black Spring
By Amer Zahr May 1st, 2015 (3)
20150410_zahr
Why do some people hate America so much?
By Amer Zahr April 10th, 2015 (9)
20150401_zahr
Aren’t “terrorists” depressed too?
By Amer Zahr April 1st, 2015 (9)
20150325_zahr
A quick lesson on “allah”
By Amer Zahr March 24th, 2015 (33)
20150318_zahr
When racism is a minor offense
By Amer Zahr March 19th, 2015 (14)
20150312_zahr
She wished there were more Palestinians like me
By Amer Zahr March 12th, 2015 (13)
20150228_zahr
We need to talk about white people
By Amer Zahr February 28th, 2015 (16)
20150214_zahr
From ‘American Sniper’ to Chapel Hill
By Amer Zahr February 14th, 2015 (10)
20150211_zahr
Murdered for being Muslim, and the news is unfazed
By Amer Zahr February 11th, 2015 (11)
20150130_zahr
There are no excuses for ‘American Sniper’
By Amer Zahr January 31st, 2015 (4)
20150123_zahr
Why is Netanyahu crashing Congress?
By Amer Zahr January 24th, 2015 (7)
20150116_zahr
Where do I apply for “terrorism expert”?
By Amer Zahr January 16th, 2015 (12)
20150109_zahr
I refuse to condemn
By Amer Zahr January 9th, 2015 (31)
20141226_zahr
Jerusalem, Yerushalayim, (Al-Quds)
By Amer Zahr December 26th, 2014 (19)
20141226_khalifeh
Santa, All I want for Christmas is…
By Hadeel Khalifeh December 26th, 2014 (0)
20141102_oudeh
Ten ways you might be an Arab
By Sam Oudeh November 2nd, 2014 (3)
20141009_zahr
Headline: America still clueless about Islam
By Amer Zahr October 9th, 2014 (5)
20140926_jallad
A Palestinian wish
By Nadine Jallad September 26th, 2014 (4)
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