By: | Date Added: 2016-08-25T21:40:23Z
Maysoon Zayid described herself in a BBC interview as "a Palestinian Muslim virgin with cerebral palsy, from New Jersey, who is an actress, comedian and activist". She is considered to be one of America's first Muslim women comedians and the first person ever to perform standup in Palestine and Jordan. Maysoon Zayid started her acting career by appearing on the popular soap opera As the World Turns for two years, as well as guest appearances on Law & Order, NBC Nightly News and ABC's 20/20. During her early acting experiences, she found her disability and ethnicity repeatedly limiting to her advancement. Zayid then turned to stand-up and began appearing at New York's top clubs, including Caroline's, Gotham, and Stand Up NY. She co-founded the New York Arab-American Comedy Festival in 2003 with comedian Dean Obeidallah. Zayid spends three months a year in the Palestinian territories, running an arts program for disabled and orphaned children in refugee camps. She helps the children use art to deal with trauma and bridge the gap between disabled and non-disabled children. Eighty percent of the funding for the camps comes directly from her comedy work.
Share your thoughts on this story with us. Your comments will not be made public.Email