Maysoon Zayid: I got 99 problems… palsy is just one

Zayid’s TED talk about embracing her challenges has over 7 million views. “I must warn you: I’m not inspirational,” she jokes.

Maysoon Zayid. TED photo.

Maysoon Zayid. TED photo.

Maysoon Zayid describes herself as a “Palestinian Muslim virgin with cerebral palsy, from New Jersey, who is an actress, comedian and activist”.

Maysoon was born in 1974 in New Jersey. She started off acting, appearing in ‘Law & Order’, ‘NBC Nightly News’ and ABC’s ’20/20′. She also had a role in the Adam Sandler’s film ‘You Don’t Mess with the Zohan’. She then moved into the world of comedy, and is nowadays considered to be America’s first Muslim woman comedian. She is also the first person ever to perform stand-up in Palestine and Jordan.

Maysoon spends three months a year running an arts program for disabled and orphaned children in refugee camps in Palestinian territories, using art to deal with trauma and bridge the gap between disabled and non-disabled children. She also works to counter Islamophobia, and appeared in the documentary ‘The Muslims Are Coming!’

Source National Union of Students UK

I got 99 problems… palsy is just one | Maysoon Zayid. “I have cerebral palsy. I shake all the time,” Maysoon Zayid announces at the beginning of this exhilarating, hilarious talk. (Really, it’s hilarious.) “I’m like Shakira meets Muhammad Ali.” With grace and wit, the Arab-American comedian takes us on a whistle-stop tour of her adventures as an actress, stand-up comic, philanthropist and advocate for the disabled. TEDWomen 2013. Youtube Dec 2013. This talk was presented at an official TED conference, and was featured by our editors on the home page.

Also see
Comedian Maysoon Zayid doesn’t aim to inspire you Interview with Shadrach Kabango on Q, CBC Radio
Jerusalem Diary: Monday 7 July BBC News

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