Weapons of Mass Hilarity: a night of comedic tension in London

Assyrian comedienne Jenan Younis started popular comedy night to break down stereotypes

What happens when a Jew, Iranian and Assyrian walk into a bar? You could be forgiven for thinking this is the opener to a classic joke but it’s actually the description of a forthcoming comedy night in London.

Weapons of Mass Hilarity returns for its seventh instalment of performances by comedians with ties to the Middle East. British-Assyrian comedienne and part-time doctor Jenan Younis told The National she started the night in 2017 to tackle stereotypes of the Middle East and highlight the region’s multi-ethnicity.

“As a non-Arab, non-Muslim from the Middle East I felt like my identity was being marginalised,” says Younis, whose parents hail from Iraq and Palestine.

‘It is good to have the contemporary Arab stories but there is a whole other world in the Middle East that was sidelined and neglected.’

Originally launched at the London School of Economics Middle East society, Younis said the night became too big and popular to perform only to students. The event is now managed and produced by NextUp Productions, which will hold Weapons of Mass Hilarity at Up the Creek Comedy Club in Greenwich, south-east London.

“Comedy is a real vehicle to changing people’s minds,” says Younis, who has won a host of awards including BBC New Voices and was a finalist at the 2021 UK Pun Championships. She said it was important to change negative or limited perceptions of those who hail from the Middle East. With a line-up that includes up-and-coming Palestinian comedian, Sami Abu Wardeh, multi-award winning Irish-Iranian, Patrick Monahan, and Turkish-Cypriot Hassan Dervish, the gags are sure to be lethally witty.

Beyond the laughter, however, Younis started the night to build a safe space for the creatives themselves.

“I wanted to create a space for us as a community to build on ideas and to support one another,” says Younis, who hosts Jenan's Stand Up Snippets, listed as one of the top 50 comedy podcasts by The Guardian.

The collective has expanded beyond the loose borders of the Middle East to include any performer from under-represented communities. It was a purposeful move on her part to tackle the "huge diversity issue" in the industry.

‘If you pick a random comedy night, most [performers] are white and male,’ the 30-year-old tells The National. “So I wanted to be proactive in changing that and be as intersectional as possible."

This explains why two of the performers are British-Jews with no ties to the Middle East. The night’s compere and head of the comedy institution Big Nose Comedy, David Lewis, promises audiences "nothing less than peace in the Middle East" but does Younis anticipate any unwelcome tension?

“We’ve never had any issues between the comedians and very little from the audience,” she says. In fact she’s found that having performers from such divergent political and social backgrounds on one stage demonstrates much more commonality than difference. That’s not to say everyone’s politics always align but, for Younis, that doesn’t annul the personal connection built in the process of creative collaboration.

“You can connect with someone on a personal level without conflating them with the entire issue,” says Younis. For her part, she would like to continue to make people laugh while breaking down stereotypes and building cross-cultural relationships. Now that Weapons of Mass Hilarity is back after a long pandemic hiatus, Younis hopes it will become a more regular occurrence and the show has already been booked for the Camden Fringe Festival in August. Until then audiences can head to Greenwich on Wednesday July 14 for a night of dangerously funny humour.

Updated: July 13th 2021, 2:07 PM
Reading List

Practitioners of mindful eating recommend the following books to get you started:

Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life by Thich Nhat Hanh and Dr Lilian Cheung

How to Eat by Thich Nhat Hanh

The Mindful Diet by Dr Ruth Wolever

Mindful Eating by Dr Jan Bays

How to Raise a Mindful Eaterby Maryann Jacobsen

Reading List

Practitioners of mindful eating recommend the following books to get you started:

Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life by Thich Nhat Hanh and Dr Lilian Cheung

How to Eat by Thich Nhat Hanh

The Mindful Diet by Dr Ruth Wolever

Mindful Eating by Dr Jan Bays

How to Raise a Mindful Eaterby Maryann Jacobsen

Reading List

Practitioners of mindful eating recommend the following books to get you started:

Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life by Thich Nhat Hanh and Dr Lilian Cheung

How to Eat by Thich Nhat Hanh

The Mindful Diet by Dr Ruth Wolever

Mindful Eating by Dr Jan Bays

How to Raise a Mindful Eaterby Maryann Jacobsen

Reading List

Practitioners of mindful eating recommend the following books to get you started:

Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life by Thich Nhat Hanh and Dr Lilian Cheung

How to Eat by Thich Nhat Hanh

The Mindful Diet by Dr Ruth Wolever

Mindful Eating by Dr Jan Bays

How to Raise a Mindful Eaterby Maryann Jacobsen

Reading List

Practitioners of mindful eating recommend the following books to get you started:

Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life by Thich Nhat Hanh and Dr Lilian Cheung

How to Eat by Thich Nhat Hanh

The Mindful Diet by Dr Ruth Wolever

Mindful Eating by Dr Jan Bays

How to Raise a Mindful Eaterby Maryann Jacobsen

Reading List

Practitioners of mindful eating recommend the following books to get you started:

Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life by Thich Nhat Hanh and Dr Lilian Cheung

How to Eat by Thich Nhat Hanh

The Mindful Diet by Dr Ruth Wolever

Mindful Eating by Dr Jan Bays

How to Raise a Mindful Eaterby Maryann Jacobsen

Reading List

Practitioners of mindful eating recommend the following books to get you started:

Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life by Thich Nhat Hanh and Dr Lilian Cheung

How to Eat by Thich Nhat Hanh

The Mindful Diet by Dr Ruth Wolever

Mindful Eating by Dr Jan Bays

How to Raise a Mindful Eaterby Maryann Jacobsen

Reading List

Practitioners of mindful eating recommend the following books to get you started:

Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life by Thich Nhat Hanh and Dr Lilian Cheung

How to Eat by Thich Nhat Hanh

The Mindful Diet by Dr Ruth Wolever

Mindful Eating by Dr Jan Bays

How to Raise a Mindful Eaterby Maryann Jacobsen

Reading List

Practitioners of mindful eating recommend the following books to get you started:

Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life by Thich Nhat Hanh and Dr Lilian Cheung

How to Eat by Thich Nhat Hanh

The Mindful Diet by Dr Ruth Wolever

Mindful Eating by Dr Jan Bays

How to Raise a Mindful Eaterby Maryann Jacobsen

Reading List

Practitioners of mindful eating recommend the following books to get you started:

Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life by Thich Nhat Hanh and Dr Lilian Cheung

How to Eat by Thich Nhat Hanh

The Mindful Diet by Dr Ruth Wolever

Mindful Eating by Dr Jan Bays

How to Raise a Mindful Eaterby Maryann Jacobsen

Reading List

Practitioners of mindful eating recommend the following books to get you started:

Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life by Thich Nhat Hanh and Dr Lilian Cheung

How to Eat by Thich Nhat Hanh

The Mindful Diet by Dr Ruth Wolever

Mindful Eating by Dr Jan Bays

How to Raise a Mindful Eaterby Maryann Jacobsen

Reading List

Practitioners of mindful eating recommend the following books to get you started:

Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life by Thich Nhat Hanh and Dr Lilian Cheung

How to Eat by Thich Nhat Hanh

The Mindful Diet by Dr Ruth Wolever

Mindful Eating by Dr Jan Bays

How to Raise a Mindful Eaterby Maryann Jacobsen

Reading List

Practitioners of mindful eating recommend the following books to get you started:

Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life by Thich Nhat Hanh and Dr Lilian Cheung

How to Eat by Thich Nhat Hanh

The Mindful Diet by Dr Ruth Wolever

Mindful Eating by Dr Jan Bays

How to Raise a Mindful Eaterby Maryann Jacobsen

Reading List

Practitioners of mindful eating recommend the following books to get you started:

Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life by Thich Nhat Hanh and Dr Lilian Cheung

How to Eat by Thich Nhat Hanh

The Mindful Diet by Dr Ruth Wolever

Mindful Eating by Dr Jan Bays

How to Raise a Mindful Eaterby Maryann Jacobsen

Reading List

Practitioners of mindful eating recommend the following books to get you started:

Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life by Thich Nhat Hanh and Dr Lilian Cheung

How to Eat by Thich Nhat Hanh

The Mindful Diet by Dr Ruth Wolever

Mindful Eating by Dr Jan Bays

How to Raise a Mindful Eaterby Maryann Jacobsen

Reading List

Practitioners of mindful eating recommend the following books to get you started:

Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life by Thich Nhat Hanh and Dr Lilian Cheung

How to Eat by Thich Nhat Hanh

The Mindful Diet by Dr Ruth Wolever

Mindful Eating by Dr Jan Bays

How to Raise a Mindful Eaterby Maryann Jacobsen

The specs: 2018 Honda City

Price, base: From Dh57,000
Engine: 1.5L, in-line four-cylinder
Transmission: Continuously variable transmission
Power: 118hp @ 6,600rpm
Torque: 146Nm @ 4,600rpm
Fuel economy, combined: 5.8L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Honda City

Price, base: From Dh57,000
Engine: 1.5L, in-line four-cylinder
Transmission: Continuously variable transmission
Power: 118hp @ 6,600rpm
Torque: 146Nm @ 4,600rpm
Fuel economy, combined: 5.8L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Honda City

Price, base: From Dh57,000
Engine: 1.5L, in-line four-cylinder
Transmission: Continuously variable transmission
Power: 118hp @ 6,600rpm
Torque: 146Nm @ 4,600rpm
Fuel economy, combined: 5.8L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Honda City

Price, base: From Dh57,000
Engine: 1.5L, in-line four-cylinder
Transmission: Continuously variable transmission
Power: 118hp @ 6,600rpm
Torque: 146Nm @ 4,600rpm
Fuel economy, combined: 5.8L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Honda City

Price, base: From Dh57,000
Engine: 1.5L, in-line four-cylinder
Transmission: Continuously variable transmission
Power: 118hp @ 6,600rpm
Torque: 146Nm @ 4,600rpm
Fuel economy, combined: 5.8L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Honda City

Price, base: From Dh57,000
Engine: 1.5L, in-line four-cylinder
Transmission: Continuously variable transmission
Power: 118hp @ 6,600rpm
Torque: 146Nm @ 4,600rpm
Fuel economy, combined: 5.8L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Honda City

Price, base: From Dh57,000
Engine: 1.5L, in-line four-cylinder
Transmission: Continuously variable transmission
Power: 118hp @ 6,600rpm
Torque: 146Nm @ 4,600rpm
Fuel economy, combined: 5.8L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Honda City

Price, base: From Dh57,000
Engine: 1.5L, in-line four-cylinder
Transmission: Continuously variable transmission
Power: 118hp @ 6,600rpm
Torque: 146Nm @ 4,600rpm
Fuel economy, combined: 5.8L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Honda City

Price, base: From Dh57,000
Engine: 1.5L, in-line four-cylinder
Transmission: Continuously variable transmission
Power: 118hp @ 6,600rpm
Torque: 146Nm @ 4,600rpm
Fuel economy, combined: 5.8L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Honda City

Price, base: From Dh57,000
Engine: 1.5L, in-line four-cylinder
Transmission: Continuously variable transmission
Power: 118hp @ 6,600rpm
Torque: 146Nm @ 4,600rpm
Fuel economy, combined: 5.8L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Honda City

Price, base: From Dh57,000
Engine: 1.5L, in-line four-cylinder
Transmission: Continuously variable transmission
Power: 118hp @ 6,600rpm
Torque: 146Nm @ 4,600rpm
Fuel economy, combined: 5.8L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Honda City

Price, base: From Dh57,000
Engine: 1.5L, in-line four-cylinder
Transmission: Continuously variable transmission
Power: 118hp @ 6,600rpm
Torque: 146Nm @ 4,600rpm
Fuel economy, combined: 5.8L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Honda City

Price, base: From Dh57,000
Engine: 1.5L, in-line four-cylinder
Transmission: Continuously variable transmission
Power: 118hp @ 6,600rpm
Torque: 146Nm @ 4,600rpm
Fuel economy, combined: 5.8L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Honda City

Price, base: From Dh57,000
Engine: 1.5L, in-line four-cylinder
Transmission: Continuously variable transmission
Power: 118hp @ 6,600rpm
Torque: 146Nm @ 4,600rpm
Fuel economy, combined: 5.8L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Honda City

Price, base: From Dh57,000
Engine: 1.5L, in-line four-cylinder
Transmission: Continuously variable transmission
Power: 118hp @ 6,600rpm
Torque: 146Nm @ 4,600rpm
Fuel economy, combined: 5.8L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Honda City

Price, base: From Dh57,000
Engine: 1.5L, in-line four-cylinder
Transmission: Continuously variable transmission
Power: 118hp @ 6,600rpm
Torque: 146Nm @ 4,600rpm
Fuel economy, combined: 5.8L / 100km

box

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Letstango.com

Started: June 2013

Founder: Alex Tchablakian

Based: Dubai

Industry: e-commerce

Initial investment: Dh10 million

Investors: Self-funded

Total customers: 300,000 unique customers every month

box

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Letstango.com

Started: June 2013

Founder: Alex Tchablakian

Based: Dubai

Industry: e-commerce

Initial investment: Dh10 million

Investors: Self-funded

Total customers: 300,000 unique customers every month

box

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Letstango.com

Started: June 2013

Founder: Alex Tchablakian

Based: Dubai

Industry: e-commerce

Initial investment: Dh10 million

Investors: Self-funded

Total customers: 300,000 unique customers every month

box

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Letstango.com

Started: June 2013

Founder: Alex Tchablakian

Based: Dubai

Industry: e-commerce

Initial investment: Dh10 million

Investors: Self-funded

Total customers: 300,000 unique customers every month

box

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Letstango.com

Started: June 2013

Founder: Alex Tchablakian

Based: Dubai

Industry: e-commerce

Initial investment: Dh10 million

Investors: Self-funded

Total customers: 300,000 unique customers every month

box

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Letstango.com

Started: June 2013

Founder: Alex Tchablakian

Based: Dubai

Industry: e-commerce

Initial investment: Dh10 million

Investors: Self-funded

Total customers: 300,000 unique customers every month

box

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Letstango.com

Started: June 2013

Founder: Alex Tchablakian

Based: Dubai

Industry: e-commerce

Initial investment: Dh10 million

Investors: Self-funded

Total customers: 300,000 unique customers every month

box

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Letstango.com

Started: June 2013

Founder: Alex Tchablakian

Based: Dubai

Industry: e-commerce

Initial investment: Dh10 million

Investors: Self-funded

Total customers: 300,000 unique customers every month

box

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Letstango.com

Started: June 2013

Founder: Alex Tchablakian

Based: Dubai

Industry: e-commerce

Initial investment: Dh10 million

Investors: Self-funded

Total customers: 300,000 unique customers every month

box

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Letstango.com

Started: June 2013

Founder: Alex Tchablakian

Based: Dubai

Industry: e-commerce

Initial investment: Dh10 million

Investors: Self-funded

Total customers: 300,000 unique customers every month

box

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Letstango.com

Started: June 2013

Founder: Alex Tchablakian

Based: Dubai

Industry: e-commerce

Initial investment: Dh10 million

Investors: Self-funded

Total customers: 300,000 unique customers every month

box

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Letstango.com

Started: June 2013

Founder: Alex Tchablakian

Based: Dubai

Industry: e-commerce

Initial investment: Dh10 million

Investors: Self-funded

Total customers: 300,000 unique customers every month

box

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Letstango.com

Started: June 2013

Founder: Alex Tchablakian

Based: Dubai

Industry: e-commerce

Initial investment: Dh10 million

Investors: Self-funded

Total customers: 300,000 unique customers every month

box

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Letstango.com

Started: June 2013

Founder: Alex Tchablakian

Based: Dubai

Industry: e-commerce

Initial investment: Dh10 million

Investors: Self-funded

Total customers: 300,000 unique customers every month

box

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Letstango.com

Started: June 2013

Founder: Alex Tchablakian

Based: Dubai

Industry: e-commerce

Initial investment: Dh10 million

Investors: Self-funded

Total customers: 300,000 unique customers every month

box

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Letstango.com

Started: June 2013

Founder: Alex Tchablakian

Based: Dubai

Industry: e-commerce

Initial investment: Dh10 million

Investors: Self-funded

Total customers: 300,000 unique customers every month

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Austria 2
Hinteregger (53'), Schopf (69')

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Austria 2
Hinteregger (53'), Schopf (69')

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Austria 2
Hinteregger (53'), Schopf (69')

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Austria 2
Hinteregger (53'), Schopf (69')

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Austria 2
Hinteregger (53'), Schopf (69')

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Austria 2
Hinteregger (53'), Schopf (69')

Germany 1
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Austria 2
Hinteregger (53'), Schopf (69')

Germany 1
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