A young woman takes a seat before the microphone, flicks her hair, and surveys her audience. Shaking slightly, she introduces herself, “My name is Maysoon Zayid and I’m a Palestinian Muslim virgin with cerebral palsy from New Jersey… and if you don’t feel better about yourself, maybe you should!”
The crowd roars. Maysoon Zayid certainly ticks all the minority boxes in both the Arab and American worlds. She seems to derive strength from these apparent weaknesses, however, and successfully incorporates them into her career as one of the best Arab-American stand-up comedians. At a time when so many of her Arab-American cousins are trying hard to be taken seriously, perhaps Maysoon’s willingness to ridicule her identity is what makes her so successful.