The great comic and film director Charlie Chaplin once said, “To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain and play with it.”  And comedy, be it in Palestine or abroad, has proven to be a successful tool for self-preservation.

As analyst Victor Frankl observed, “It is well known that humor, more than anything else in the human makeup, can afford an aloofness and an ability to rise above any situation, even if only for a few seconds.”

Renowned Palestinian anthropologist and professor Sherif Kanaana studied the Palestinians’ culture of humor for 15 years.  During this time, he found that Palestinians often communicate through jokes and anecdotes.   The harshest jokes about Palestinian government officials often came from other government officials and passed down for laughs.

In the USA, American-Palestinian comedians continue the tradition of laughing at themselves and the Palestinian culture.  Below are just a few clips:

Dean Obeidallah with Joy Behar on “The View” (May 16, 2007) —

Aron Kader on “Last Call” with Carson Daly (March 24, 2010) –

Maysoon Zayid on PBS’s “America at a Crossroads” (May 7, 2008) —

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