A group of Israeli, Palestinian and Jewish-American comics whose English-language satirical Israeli-Palestinian Comedy Tour drew laughs in February at mixed Jewish-Arab venues in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and elsewhere in Israel is returning for an encore. Egyptian-American comedian Sherif Hedayat will join Palestinian-American comic Ray Hanania and US-born Israeli funny men Yisrael Campbell and Charley Warady for the comedy fest. Shows are slated for the Ambassador Hotel tonight (Friday) and tomorrow at 8:30 p.m., and Thursday (December 6) at Haifa's Or Hadash synagogue, also at 8:30 p.m. A venue in Tel Aviv had yet to be finalized at press time. Apart from impaling the Annapolis conference, the comedy tour has a serious side - to stop demonizing "the other" through laughter, says Hanania, a Chicago-based writer and comedian who contributes occasional columns to The Jerusalem Post.
Parallel to the comedy tour, the shtick-meisters are participating as panelists in a conference on the Internet and Mideast news coverage taking place at the Ambassador Hotel Monday, which Hanania is organizing.
"We're planning on reaching peace in the Middle East in a week. And if we can't accomplish that, at least we'll put on some good shows," says Jerusalem comedian Warady, who cut his teeth at ABC's Friday Night and Comedy Central before moving here from Chicago in 1996. Today he hosts podcast Israelisms.com, which runs under the banner "It's a wacky country and we prove it."
The Ambassador Hotel is located on Nablus Road in Sheikh Jarrah. For more information call the Ambassador at (02) 541â‰ 2222 or Warady at 052-240-0803.
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