Comedy is a mandatory aspect that must be insured in everyone’s life. Who doesn’t love to laugh and have good joke to share with his/her friends. Many comedians have found their way into stardom in Pakistan including the legendary Anwar Mahmood, Umer sharif and join Akhtar.
What we lack as in a country are female comedians. Considering the oppression of women that goes down in our nation, it is hard for any women to stand on a stage and expose her in a humorous way. The fact of inequality of behavior and opportunities deprives women of what they may be great at because of not being given the real appreciation they deserve.
However, a change in this mindset is being transformed by a bunch of Pakistani American women. They are not only developing new boundaries but changing the perception of how a Desi Muslim women and how they are interpreted with a bunch of having a good laugh at it.
A New York based writer/performer an Aizzah Fatima states, “nobody expects Muslim women to be artists, let alone comedians. She has given up a growing career as an ad engineer at Google for a stage career to be a comedian. She became frustrated with the limited amount of roles that offended her as well as motivated her to make this inspiring move.
She has come up with a one women show that covers the topic of how Muslim women reconcile their ethnic identities with the American lives. She wants to lay out the idea of a how diverse brown women can be, as states, “we laugh, cry, scream and act silly just like the rest of the other women.
In her one woman show she plays around 20 characters ranging from being a hijack feminist that is caught between her obligation towards Muslim culture and her opposite desire to wear sexy lingerie. This then takes a turn to her to being a typical mother searching for an eligible suitor in the matrimonial section in the newspaper.
Another Chicago based actor/writer/producer, Fawzia Mirza says candidly, a very small number of Pakistani parents motivate their children to be artists. She believes, coming from a conservative culture background, being an artist is something that is looked down upon as a profession.
The uncertainty of having a guaranteed income but the strong chance of being back hitting about you gives it a negative reputation to a person’s name. In a joke she adds, to how you then start bring the shame factor to yourself, your family, your ancestors and even the aliens that may be related to you in the galaxy.
Mona shaikh, another comedian who moved from Pakistan to the US. As she wanted to pursue being a comedian artist, her parent’s first concern was, what the world would say, what we would tell our relatives to what our daughter does for a career. But despite what they argued, I couldn’t help myself to careless as I wanted to travel, experience the world and ball out.
Nadia Pervazi Mansoor
Another New York based Nadia Pervaiz Mansoor, who grew up in a conservative Pakistani family household describing her childhood to be difficult and confusing. She comes with a one woman show called Burq Off! Which tackles the Conflict of growing up in two different vastly words. She explains how people expect her to be some kind of a spokesperson for the Pakistan Muslim, which she clearly is not. This is her viewpoint of experience and that she shares it with the many other Pakistani Muslims girls who can relate to hers.
Each comedian wishes that they would bring a change into the way Pakistani Muslim women are perceived. They wish to change this through their comical acts in trying to bring humor as well as send off serious messages to the world and trying to empower on the note that no matter what ethnic backgrounds or gender discrimination, everyone should be equally welcomed into what they want to do and have a respected platform to expose themselves.