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Amer Zahr is a Palestinian Arab American comedian, speaker, writer, academic, and adjunct professor at University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. He draws on his experiences growing up as a child of Palestinian refugees, performing and lecturing on topics like politics, society, culture, identity, Palestine, Islam, and more.
In 2016 and 2020, Amer served as a surrogate for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
Here’s Amer introducing Bernie at a rally in March 2020.
In February 2016, Amer headlined a packed house at New York City’s world-famous Carnegie Hall, alongside Palestinian-American comedians Said Durrah, Mona Aburmishan, and Mike Easmeil
In June 2015, Amer headlined at the world-famous John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. He produced this show as well, making it the first time that an all-Palestinian cast took the stage at the internationally-renowned venue.
He has produced and headlined in 3 of his own comedy tours, “1001 Laughs Comedy Tour,” “We’re Not White!” and “In 1948.”
He founded and produced the annual “1001 Laughs Ramallah Comedy Festival,” a production in Palestine that features numerous comedians and shows, premiering in August 2015. The festival entertains over 2,000 locals annually, and it still goes on today. Amer, as the producer of the festival, received great acclaim and much media attention from the following outlets:
CNN | CNN Arabic | BBC Arabic | Haaretz | Al-Hurra | Palestine Today | Wattan TV | MAAN Network | 972 Mag | Palestine News Network | Sky News
He is also the founder and producer of the annual “1001 Laughs Dearborn Comedy Festival” in Dearborn, Michigan at the Arab American National Museum. This festival was launched in 2013 and also continues until today.
In 2017, Amer debuted his first documentary film, “We’re Not White,” a comedic and informative approach to the Arab-American struggle to get a box on the United States Census Form.
Watch the film here.
He is also the author of the well-read blog “The Civil Arab,” as well as his first book, “Being Palestinian Makes Me Smile,” a collection of his writings relating to being Palestinian.
Amer holds an MA in Middle Eastern and North Africa Studies and a JD (law degree), both from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He writes and speaks widely on political and social affairs, and has appeared on radio and television, including Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, and more. Some of his writings have been featured in major publications, including Time magazine and Al-Jazeera.
Amer has performed throughout North America, Canada, Europe, & the Arab world, including shows in:
America: New York City, Washington, DC, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, Boston, Raleigh, Cleveland, San Diego, Pittsburgh
Campuses: Portland State University, University of Colorado, University of Michigan, Carnegie Mellon University, Wooster College, University of Connecticut, Loyola University – Chicago, Stanford University, University of North Carolina, San Diego St University, Michigan State University, Harvard University, Brown University, University of Chicago, University of Illinois, Albion College, University of Pennsylvania, University of Maryland, Virginia Tech, University of South Florida, University of Texas, Washington State University, California State University, University of Wisconsin, University of Oregon.
Internationally: Jerusalem, Amman, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Haifa, Nazareth, Tel Aviv, Muscat (Oman), Kuwait City, Cairo, Beirut, Dubai, London, Toronto