Jewish and Palestinian-American Comedy Team to Perform at Diversity Fair


Billed as the two comedian solution to Middle East peace, the Jewish and Palestinian-American comedy team of Scott Blakeman and Dean Obeidallah, respectively, will present “Standup for Peace” at The University of Scranton on Thursday, Nov. 8. The performance, which is free of charge and open to the public, will take place at 8 p.m. in the McIlhenny Ballroom of the DeNaples Center.

The lecture is part of the daylong Diversity Fair sponsored by the University’s Office of Equity and Diversity.

According to its website, Standup for Peace is a “disarmingly funny comedy show 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.” Blakeman and Obeidallah begin the show together, perform their own acts separately, and then reunite at the end for a question and answer session.

Blakeman and Obeidallah have performed at theaters, comedy clubs and numerous colleges including Yale University, New Haven, Conn., Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., and Stanford University, Stanford, Calif., among others. They have been featured on numerous television and radio programs.

 An original member of “Laughing Liberally,” a New York-based political comedy show, Blakeman was featured on MSNBC’s live coverage of the 2010-2012 White House Correspondents Dinner, and appears regularly as a liberal commentator on the live webcast “ Live.” He has appeared on “The Young Turks” on Current TV, and has made more than 40 national television appearances, including Comedy Central’s “Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn.”

Obeidallah, an award-winning comedian who was at one time a practicing attorney, has appeared on Comedy Central’s “Axis of Evil” comedy special and is the co-creator and co-producer of Comedy’s critically acclaimed Internet series “The Watch List,” featuring a cast of all Middle Eastern-American comedians performing stand up and sketch comedy.  He has also appeared on ABC’s “The View,” CNN'’s “American Morning,” and was recently one of five comedians profiled in a PBS TV Special entitled “Stand Up: Muslim-American Comics Come of Age.

In addition to the lecture, the University’s Diversity Fair includes events from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. exploring this year’s theme “Unlearn,” which include discussions, lectures and an exhibit hall the McIlhenny Ballroom of the DeNaples Center. The documentary film “Encounter Point” about Israelis and Palestinians who are calling for a peaceful reconciliation movement will be shown at 10:15 a.m. and again at 3 p.m. in the Moskovitz Theater. The events during the day are also open to the public, free of charge. A compete schedule of events is listed below.

For more information, contact The University of Scranton’s Office of Equity and Diversity at 941-6645.

Diversity Fair V – Nov. 8, 2012

9:30 a.m.    Registration
4th floor lobby, DeNaples Center

Exhibit Hall: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
McIlhenny Ballroom, DeNaples Center

10 a.m. Welcome – University of Scranton President Kevin P. Quinn, S.J.
Rosette Adera, Director, Office of Equity and Diversity
Moskovitz Theater, DeNaples Center

10:15 a.m. “Encounter Point” Movie & Discussion,
presented by, Dr. Mahmoud Fahmy  & Rabbi Joe Mendelsohn
Moskovitz Theater, DeNaples Center 

11:30 a.m. Unlearn, presented by, Scott Blakeman &
Dean Obeidallah, Teresa Grettano
Moskovitz Theater, DeNaples Center 

1 p.m.  Sensitivity Awareness, presented by,
Rabbi Joe Mendelsohn
DeNaples Center, room 405

Whose Life is it Anyway?, presented by,
Dr. Rita Fleming-Castaldy
DeNaples Center, room 406

2:30 p.m.  Original Music by Morris Mertz & Band
McIlhenny Ballroom, DeNaples Center 

Benign Bigotry: Implications of Micro aggressions, presented by,
Dr. Paul Porter & Justine Johnson
Moskovitz Theater, DeNaples Center

3 p.m.  “Encounter Point” full viewing of the documentary film
Moskovitz Theater, DeNaples Center

8 p.m.  “Standup for Peace” 
by Scott Blakeman & Dean Obeidallah
McIlhenny Ballroom, DeNaples Center

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