Mohammed Amer

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Not to be confused with Mohamed Amer.
Mohammed Amer
Pseudonym Mo Amer, Mohammed Najjar
Born (1981-07-24) July 24, 1981 (age 33)
Kuwait
Medium Stand-up, television, film
Nationality American
Years active 1999–present
Genres Observational comedy, Satire
Subject(s) Islamic humour, islamophobia, political humour, family, marriage
Influences Bill Cosby
Website www.moamer.net

Mohammed Amer (Arabic: محمد عامر‎; born July 24, 1981) is a Kuwaiti-born American stand-up comedian and writer of Palestinian descent. He is best known as one third of comedy trio Allah Made Me Funny.

Early life[edit]

Amer is of Palestinian decent, and the youngest of six children.[1] In October 1990, at the age of nine, Amer, his sister, Haifa, his brother, Amer, and mother fled his birth country of Kuwait during the Persian Gulf War. They emigrated to the United States and settled in Houston, Texas.

Two years later his father, a telecoms engineer, joined them in the United States. He attended private school at Piney Point Elementary while his older brothers studied overseas.[2][3] One of his brothers is a pilot, another brother named Amer (who later changed the family name to Najjar), has a PhD in biochemistry.[4] In 1995, when Amer was 14 years old his father died.[2]

Career[edit]

At the age of 14, Amer participated in and had leading roles in high school theatre, and started performing comedy[5][6] by impersonating family members[7] and developed it over a few years in the comedy club scene.[8]

In June 1999,[3] Amer entered Houston's Funniest Person Contest and made the finals. There another comedian directed him to The Comedy Showcase as the best guided comedy room. The owner of The Comedy Showcase, Danny Martinez, mentored and taught him about stand-up.[9] At the age of 19, he was being flown out to play to US troops stationed abroad.[2] becoming the first and only Arab-American refugee comic to perform for US and coalition troops overseas.[10]

Amer has performed in tours in over 27 countries on five continents including Germany, Italy, Sicily, Japan, Korea and Bahrain, as well as with other Muslim comedians Preacher Moss and Azhar Usman in the "Allah Made Me Funny" comedy tour since 2006.[11]

In 2004, he performed at the The Comedy Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada.[5][7]

In April 2007, he performed at the Islamic Relief Evening of Inspiration event[12] at the Royal Albert Hall organised by Islamic Relief.[13]

In July 2008, he performed at the Islam Expo in Olympia, London.[14] In October 2008, he performed at the Global Peace and Unity Event in the ExCeL Exhibition Centre in London organised by Islam Channel.[8][15]

As well as with "Allah Made Me Funny: The Official Muslim Comedy Tour.” He has performed at sold-out shows worldwide, including: Royal Albert Hall and Hammersmith Apollo (London), Acer Arena (Sydney), Nelson Mandela Theatre (Johannesburg), Shrine Auditorium (Los Angeles), as well as the Malmo Arts Festival (Sweden), the Amman Stand-up Comedy Festival (Jordan), and the World's Funniest Island Festival (Australia).

Amer has been interviewed on television and radio, including on NPR, BBC, and CNN.[10]

In June 2013, Amer featured on an interfaith special, What's So Funny About Religion?, which was broadcast on the CBS Television Network.[16]

Amer's solo comedy show, entitled "Legally Homeless: Trials of a Refugee,” is in development for a feature length docu-comedy. He is also co-writing a feature screenplay with award-winning filmmaker Iman Zawahry and longtime stand-up collaborator, Azhar Usman.[10]

Comedy style[edit]

Amer’s work promotes art and understanding between the diverse cultures of the world, and his ethnic and family background situates him to speak about the problems of religion, terror, and the politics of our age—through the lens of personal stories about his family and himself.[10] He talks about his Palestinian background,[17] family histories and growing up American.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Amer resides in Los Angeles, California with his Mexican American wife, and children.[19]

In 2009, Amer became a US citizen, which enabled him to travel to Amman, Jordan and visited family he had not seen for almost twenty years.[3] He also returned to Kuwait and Baghdad for the first time since his family fled.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Donadoni, Serena (2008). "Comedy With a Mission". Dispatches (The Cinema Girl). Retrieved September 25, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d Khan, Yasmeen (March 27, 2009). "Mo Amer: an Arab-American standup in Texas". The Guardian. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c Bahmani, Al (December 31, 2012). "Mo Amer: Comic Ambassador". Houston: Comedy Scene in Houston. Retrieved April 1, 2013. 
  4. ^ Judell, Brandon (October 4, 2008). "Getting Jocular with Muslims". Spiritual Practice. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Biography". Legally Homeless :: Trials of a Refugee. Retrieved September 9, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Comedian-Mo-Amer". Neon Entertainment. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "Mo Amer". Rooftop Comedy. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b "Performers". Global Peace and Unity Event 2008. Retrieved September 28, 2011.  Mo Amer
  9. ^ "Mo Amer". Campus Activities Magazine. April 2012. Retrieved January 1, 2012. 
  10. ^ a b c d "Biography". MuslimFest. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Performers". Allah Made Me Funny. Retrieved August 28, 2011.  Mo Amer
  12. ^ "Evening of Inspiration 2007 Flyer". Islamic Relief. February 26, 2007. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  13. ^ "News Concert Schedule 2006–07". : : Awakening Entertainment: :. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Attractions – IslamExpo – 11–14 July 2008 – Olympia, London". IslamExpo. July 2007. Retrieved April 1, 2013.  Mo Amer
  15. ^ "Biography". Mo Amer's Official Website. Retrieved August 28, 2011. 
  16. ^ "CBS Airs What's So Funny About Religion?". Muslim Entertainment. July 1, 2013. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  17. ^ Brussat, Frederic; Brussat, Mary Ann. "Film Review: Allah Made Me Funny: Live in Concert". Spiritual Practice. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  18. ^ Fry, Ted (October 3, 2008). ""Allah Made Me Funny": Stand-ups riff on being Muslim in America". Seattle: The Seattle Times. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Mohammed "Mo" Amer @ Laff spot". Mohammed Amer. March 25, 2010. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 

External links[edit]