When Ray Hanania was a boy in Chicago, some of
his schoolmates surrounded him and asked, “What are you?” He responded,
“I’m American.” The other children said he wasn’t, so he went home and
asked his dad.
His dad said, “Don’t tell them you’re Palestinian. Tell them you’re Syrian and Lebanese.”
|Comedian Ray Hanania says, “If you make someone laugh, they can’t hate you.” |
The next day, Hanania returned to school and told the kids, “I’m cereal, but I think my mom is a lesbian.”
funny anecdote—one that Hanania swears is true—is just one of many
stories that the Lutheran of Arab descent uses in his stand-up comedy (See his Web site
may not sound like a typical mission, but Hanania uses humor to help
break down walls between people of different cultural and religious
backgrounds. Earlier this year he took part in an Israeli-Palestinian
Comedy Tour, for which he and three Jewish comics—including Aaron
Freeman, who is African American—performed in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
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