Fairfield University's Muslim Student Association and KADIMA, the Jewish students' organization, will co-sponsor first event together


"Standup for Peace" on February 24 at 8 p.m.

Image: Dean ObeidallahFairfield University's Muslim Student Association (MSA) and KADIMA, the Jewish students' organization, will co-sponsor "Standup for Peace," a Wednesday, February 24 comedy show featuring Jewish-American comic Scott Blakeman and Palestinian-American comic Dean Obeidallah. Free and open to the public, the event will take place at 8 p.m. in the lower level of the Barone Campus Center, on the Fairfield campus.

"This is the first event that the Muslim Student Association and KADIMA have organized together," said Alison Goldberg, a Fairfield undergraduate and KADIMA member. "These two comics will of course tell jokes, but they will also get into serious talk about the Middle East and relationships between Jews and Muslims - issues important to both student groups."  

Blakeman and Obeidallah co-founded "Standup for Peace: Two Comedians Solution to Middle East Peace" after meeting on a Manhattan bus. It's a show they have performed in theaters, temples, Arab community centers and on college campuses nationwide, lending their humor to combat stereotypes and drum up discussion by way of comedy on issues that are not often broached. The comedians describe their show as one "that brings Jews, Arabs, Muslims and people from all backgrounds together to laugh, and encourages a dialogue in support of a peaceful, political resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

According to Variety, Blakeman has a "sharp wit" and "strong laugh-getting style." He has made more than 30 television appearances, including on Comedy Central's "Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn" and NBC's "Sunday Today." He can be heard regularly on NPR.

A former attorney, Obeidallah is the son of a Palestinian father and a Sicilian mother. He has appeared on "The View" and Comedy Central's "Axis of Evil," among many other programs. He is the co-creator of Comedy Central's acclaimed Internet series, "The Watch List," of which Newsweek said, "The cable channel's mere involvement in the show is one more indication that the Arab and Iranian American comedy scene is truly, er, booming."

For more information, visit standupforpeace.com.

Junior Nargis Alizada, who is from Afghanistan, helped found MSA in 2009. Its events are helping raise understanding on campus of Muslim people and their traditions and history. Alizada noted, "The association is a way to teach fellow students about the role of Islam in society. There's so much to be taught."

The purpose of KADIMA, a Jewish cultural organization, is to make visible Jews and Jewish life on campus. It has co-sponsored many events with the University's Bennett Center for Judaic Studies.

Image: Standup for Peace, to take place on Wednesday, February 24 at 8 p.m. on the Fairfield campus, will feature Jewish-American comic Scott Blakeman and Palestinian-American comic Dean Obeidallah (pictured).

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on February 18, 2010

Vol. 42, No. 199

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