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LONDON: Britain’s ‘Super Muslim Comedy Tour’ is back in full swing, bringing together some of the world’s most famous Muslim comedians to entertain audiences for a good cause.

The charity event, now in its seventh year, kicked off in London on October 21 before heading north to perform live in 10 cities including Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow.

Back on stage are Abdullah Afzal, from the award-winning BBC show ‘Citizen Khan’, Prince Abdi, who has backed some of the game’s biggest names including Dave Chappelle, Trevor Noah and Chris Rock, and Azeem Muhammad and Preacher Moss from the critically acclaimed “Allah Made Me Funny”.

The lineup also includes two exciting new faces of Arab descent. Fathiya Saleh, a Londoner of Yemeni-Somali descent, and Palestinian American Atheer Yacoub, who presents a half-hour special on Comedy Central Arabia, perform at the traveling show for the first time.

The tour is organized by Penny Appeal, an award-winning international humanitarian charity with projects in over 45 countries across the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

While the acts on tour are all about “halal entertainment,” each artist showcased distinctive comedy styles inspired by their ethnicity.

Arab News caught up with the comedians on Saturday for their second show in the capital.

The show opened with British-Pakistani Jeff Mirza, who challenged the common perception of British dry humor with an eccentric performance filled with gestures, facial expressions and sounds.

Mirza, the first British-Muslim comedian to perform in Saudi Arabia, sparked laughter as he mocked the Muslim men who were “watching”.

“They say a smile is a form of charity,” Mirza told Arab News. He explained that the comedy tour kills two birds with one stone by making people laugh while raising money for a charitable cause.

Meanwhile, Saleh shared his experience as an adult living in a Somali-Yemeni household.

The 24-year-old, who started doing stand-up comedy in 2019, has appeared on several shows in London, including ‘Asians vs Arabs’, ‘Arabs Are Not Funny!’, and on BBC Asian Network Comedy.

Her series of punchlines earned her a round of applause on Saturday as she captured the true essence of family-oriented cultures found in Arab and Muslim communities.

“Everyone needs a place to be able to disconnect and come and have fun in a fun halal way, so hopefully this will be that place for Muslim audiences,” Saleh told Arab News.

Flying from Missouri, Azeem Muhammad gave one of the most socially conscious comedic acts in which he opened up about his conversion to Islam and his experience as a Muslim man in the United States.

Muhammad also told Arab News that halal comedy plays an important role in inspiring future generations to focus not only on scholars and scholars, but also on their spiritual essence and creative and cultural values.

Likewise, Atheer Yacoub, who performed in London on Sunday, shared her stories of growing up as a Palestinian Muslim in Alabama and moving to New York.

Palestinian Americans are making it big this year on the comedy scene, with the likes of Mo Amer, Amer Zahr and Sammy Obeid finding success.

Yacoub said his audience, especially women, were thrilled to see female representation.

British-Moroccan actress Laila Rouass, who came to watch the show, shared her positive reactions with Arab News.

“I loved every minute. How wonderful to see so many talented Muslim comedians in one place. The evening was filled with laughter, diversity and of course fundraising for a very worthy course.

“Bravo Penny Appeal for the pioneers that you are,” she said.

Proceeds from this year’s show, which is believed to have sold over 5,000 tickets, will support victims who have lost their livelihoods due to the recent floods in Pakistan.

Organizers said the charity event generates around £500,000 ($564,675) each year.

British actor and comedian Abdullah Afzal shared his first-hand experience of witnessing the devastation of the floods during his visit to the crisis-hit country.

“It was awful. People are really struggling, so nights like this are really important in rebuilding Pakistan. »

The “Super Muslim Comedy Tour” will continue until October 30 and will make its final stop in the city of Bradford.

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