Palestinian comedian Amer Zahr says Bahrain show is back on

Cancellation was due to a miscommunication and misunderstanding over permits

Amer Zahr's show in Bahrain will now take place on May 4. Junfu Han
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Comedian Amer Zahr says his previously “cancelled” Bahrain show is now set to happen. The stand-up event The Truth was set for April 19 but has now been rescheduled for May 4.

On Monday, it was originally reported that Bahrain had turned down Zahr's request for the show.

“Unfortunately the show is going to be cancelled,” Zahr said at the time on social media, speaking with a map of 1948 Palestine in the background. “I’m really bummed out because we were working with so many great people on the ground to promote the show.

The comedian said he wasn’t exactly sure why the event's permit was denied. “I guess the truth is a little difficult, I don’t know,” he said. “But as always, free Palestine.”

However, it's now been revealed by the US-Palestinian entertainer that the Bahraini Prime Minister’s office contacted him to clarify that they had simply never received an application.

Zahr says he was told by the office that they would never reject the application. They also told him that it was all a result of miscommunication and misunderstanding, and that “they love Palestine.” He finished by adding: “I want to thank them for resolving it so quickly.”

Set to take place at The Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel, Residence and Spa in Manama, the show is described on Zahr's site as “a comedic journey through being Palestinian and Arab in today’s times”. He also says of the show: “Sometimes we laugh so hard we cry. And sometimes we cry so hard we laugh.”

The comedian is also set to perform at Dubai Opera on April 17 as part of the Dubai Comedy Festival. He will then be performing at the American University in Kuwait on April 23, before performing at Amman’s Rainbow Theatre on May 10.

Zahr is the son of Palestinian immigrants who moved to the US from Jordan when the comedian was three years old. His comedy touches on politics and his upbringing.

He also founded the 1001 Laughs Dearborn Comedy Festival in 2013, an annual event that is still continuing. He has performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, as well as the John F Kennedy Centre for the Performing Arts in Washington.

Besides his work in comedy, Zahr is a writer and academic. He served as a national surrogate to 2016 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Zahr released a book in 2014 called Being Palestinian Makes Me Smile, which brings together writings from his online blog The Civil Arab. He also released a documentary in 2017 titled We’re Not White.

Updated: April 10, 2024, 8:41 AM