Occupation? Comedian

Stand-ups plan West Bank peace tour

London comic Ivor Dembina is to join a ground-breaking stand-up tour of the Middle East.

Comedy For Peace will be the first time that Jewish and Palestinian comics have shared the stage in Israel and the Occupied West Bank.

The tour will run for ten days in May at venues including a theatre in the neighborhood where the Palestinian uprising is raging, the US Embassy and a comedy club in East Jerusalem. Dembina will be joining a second tour later in the year.

Proceeds will go towards charities working towards peace in the region.

The project is the brainchild of Ray Hanania, a Palestinian-American stand-up who is married to a Jewish woman.

He says he hopes "the power of comedy combined with the power of two peoples coming together on one stage will help Palestinians and Israelis find the courage to look past the pain and the suffering of the conflict and see each other as human beings."

A documentary film is also being made about the project.

It is not the first time Dembina has traveled to the region in the name of comedy, and his show about his earlier experiences, This Is Not A Subject For Comedy, ends its run at the Hampstead Comedy Club this Thursday.

The Comedy For Peace bills in the Middle East will also include Egyptian-American Sherif Hedayat, Israeli Lenny Ravich, black Jewish Aaron Freeman and Jewish-American Dave Goodman.

Comedy For Peace home page

Published: 7 Mar 2004

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