Entertainment Presented By Grand Medina Resorts
George R. Brown Convention Center, 1st Floor Hall AB
Sunday, September 2 – 8:00pm
Amal Kassir is a Muslim Woman, born and raised in Denver, CO to a German-Iowan Mother and a Syrian Father. She is an international spoken word poet, having performed in 10 countries and over 45 cities. She has conducted workshops, given lectures, and recited her poetry in venues ranging from youth prisons, to orphanages to refugee camps to universities to churches to community spaces for the public. She designed her own undergraduate degree called ‘Community Programming in Social Psychology’ and she is a major proponent in education and building individual agency in particularly underserved and vulnerable populations, especially through writing. She hopes to take part in the global effort for literacy in war-struck areas and refugee camps, Insha’Allah.
Amer Zahr is an Arab-American comedian, speaker, writer, academic, and adjunct professor at University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. He draws on his experiences growing up as a child of Palestinian immigrant parents, performing and lecturing on topics like politics, society, Islam, growing up Arab, and more. He headlined a packed house at New York City’s world-famous Carnegie Hall, alongside Palestinian-American comedians Said Durrah, Mona Aburmishan, and Mike Easmeil. He also headlined at the world-famous John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. He produced this show as well, making it the first time that an all-Palestinian cast took the stage at the internationally-renowned venue. Amer also served as a surrogate for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. He has produced and headlined in 3 of his own comedy tours, “1001 Laughs Comedy Tour,” “We’re Not White!” and “In 1948.” He founded and produced the first-ever “1001 Laughs Ramallah Comedy Festival.”
Combining the raw essence of the urban rap and hip-hop genre with a strong message promoting love, unity, Spirituality, and values in the efforts to rouse appreciation of the contemporary Muslim identity in today’s youth and adults alike, whilst clarifying many misconceptions about the way Islam is being portrayed in the media and the circles of society. Their music is universal and does not hold to one particular faith, instead speaks a universal language of love and it’s rise above racism, sexism, and inequality. With over 100 Media outlet coverage from major news outlets such as Huffington Post, BBC , CNN Arabia, The Fader and many more – the group is now touring worldwide and have recently shared a Stage with Justin Bieber, as an opening act during his Purpose Tour in Dubai as well as headlined Canada Day 150 year celebration.
Muhammad Yunus has proven himself to be just as talented as he is charismatic. Born in Indonesia but raised in Houston, Yunus is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting from the University of Houston. Yunus can often be found partnering with Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS) and the Tribble School of the Arts in teaching hip-hop and acting workshops for young inner-city students. In his spare time, Yunus leads the University of Houston’s first poetry slam team, CoogSlam, and runs his online vintage resale company, SecondHandScoops. In 2016, Yunus won the Tommy Tune award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Usnavi in “In the Heights.” He then continued on to earn the Spirit of the Jimmy award from the National High School Musical Awards (commonly known as the Jimmy Awards) in New York City. Having both studied under Broadway legends and performed on the legendary Minskoff Theater, Yunus constantly credits his achievements so far to the family, friends, and teachers who have supported him throughout his journey. Through his work, he aims to help spread the love of theatre with all who experiences his unique style of performance.
The story of Native Deen is an inspiring one that began with three Muslim youth possessing unique talents and a passion to spread an uplifting message of Islam. Originally solo artists and active participants of their communities searching for creative ways to educate and inspire Muslim youth, today Native Deen has become a fusion of Hip-hop and R&B flavors, thrilling fans with their eclectic and unique combinations of lyrics, rhythms, and sounds. The trio made up of Joshua Salaam, Abdul-Malik Ahmad and Naeem Muhammad came together in 2000 and has embarked upon a professional career in the music industry together in order to highlight issues confronting Muslims living in America. These three African-American men who were raised as Muslims in America have emerged as one of the leading Islamic Nasheed groups and have inspired an international fan base. Drawing their own inspiration from the message of Islam, Native Deen’s music calls listeners to keep the faith, to live better lives, and not to succumb to the pressures and temptations of modern society.
Yasmin Elhady is the daughter of Libyan and Egyptian immigrants, otherwise known as a North African Unicorn. She was born in Egypt and came to the United States at age 4, growing up in the deep South. That’s right, the place otherwise known as the most accepting part of the country. Yasmin is an attorney and relationship expert who enjoys sharing from her life in the form of storytelling and helping other’s find love. Her roles as mother, daughter, wife, and sister help inform her perspective and relate to other people’s joy and pain through humor. She has performed all over the DC Metro area including the Cellar Door and DC Drafthouse Comedy Theater. She has toured with PennyAppeal USA’s Super Muslim Comedy Tour across the nation. Her alter ego is “Yasguru,” a hyper active relationship advisor with silly videos on YouTube.
Mushaira (Urdu Poetry) Session
George R. Brown Convention Center, 3rd Floor