Feb 032005
Authors: Collegian Staff

Those lucky enough to have picked up their free tickets to Saturday nights comedy show will have the opportunity to see cultures bridged by humor.

Azhar Usman.will perform his stand up show, "Can't We All Just Eat Kabob?" from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday in the Lory Student Center's Main Ballroom as part of the Islamic Cultural Night.

Usman is a member of the Islamic comedy group Allah Made Me Funny, which is touring the United States.

"The idea is to provide … an experience where humor is used to bridge gaps of bias, intolerance and other social ills that are pre- and post-9/11 relevant," stated Preacher Moss, co-founder of Allah Made Me Funny on the group's Web site, http://www.allahmademefunny.com/about.html

Allah Made Me Funny was contacted about visiting campus, but only Usman, who is also a co-founder of the group, responded to Vice President of the Muslim Student Association Ahmad Adam's request.

"I decided I was going to be the person to bring him to Colorado," said Adam, a junior electrical engineering major.

Adam also designed the posters promoting the event that are prominent around campus. Usman's picture is in the center, with a traditional curly black beard but holding a microphone and smiling widely. This is part of the image the MSA is trying to project – one of humor and humanity.

"People, when they talk about Muslims, think about a beard, a hat and a serious or angry face. This presents Muslims in a different way … with a funny face," said Khaleel Alyahya, a junior neurobiology major and president of MSA.

Humor does not always translate across cultures, Alyahya said. This cultural barrier obstructs his personal favorite joke from being understood at times.

"I cannot apply the (culture) this (joke) comes from to people here. But some are universal," Alyahya said.

Samples of Azhar Usman's humor can be viewed at his Web site, http://www.azhar.com/.

His standup act is considered very clean – free of all profanity or vulgarity, which makes him more family-friendly than what some might expect from a standup comedian.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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