Follow the Arabic Road to the land of Eastern promise at the 2nd Annual Middle Eastern Comedy Festival

Follow the Arabic Road to the land of Eastern promise at the 2nd Annual Middle Eastern Comedy Festival
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Published September 8th, 2010 - 05:47 GMT

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The Middle East was once a virtual hotbed of artistic creation, for poetry, art, and music, and then it virtually stopped. Enter notorious funnymen Ronnie Khalil and Ryan P. Shrime, co-founders of the Middle Eastern Comedy Festival, who are encouraging fellow Middle Easterners to keep the art world alive by creating workshops and a platform for aspiring young comedians, actors, writers and directors.

Over the past year alone, this dynamic duo organized two sketch comedy classes at no cost to all Middle Easterners. The classes were an instant success and had more than 20 graduates attend. As a result, Khalil and Shrime are planning a stand-up workshop in order to foster a 'community of artists' in the Middle Eastern community, where art has never been fully encouraged or practiced.

Khalil and Shrime's other brainchild, the Middle Eastern Comedy Festival, is set to take place for its second year October 4-7, 2010 in Los Angeles ( The festival last year was proudly sponsored by industry heavy hitters including Disney|ABC Television, FOX Entertainment, and KPCC Southern California Public Radio.

Rehearsals are well underway for this year's annual event, with an assortment of comedy sketches including "The Wizard of Oz" and Stand Up comedy featuring performers all from Middle Eastern backgrounds, including Arabs, Israelis, Persians, Afghanis and more.

A brown carpet gala will be held at the Laugh Factory, Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood at 7pm. The following three nights will be held at the Acme Comedy Theatre on La Brea Ave with two shows a night at 7pm and again at 9:30pm.

Closing night on the 7th October holds something very special with a show at 7pm followed by an Awards Ceremony. This year the festival will be honouring 'Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time' star Jake Gyllenhaal with an award and new to this year, The Middle East Jackass Awards.

The pair, Khalil and Shrime who are fondly known as the 'Happy Arabs', initially met in New York during a comedy festival in 2005 and swiftly found a common goal, changing the way Middle Easterners were perceived in the entertainment industry. Khalil and Shrime want to repel the notion that middle easterners are merely those who ride magic carpets and act as genies in a bottle. They are fighting for their community to succeed and flourish as real entertainers with International likeability and widespread appeal. 


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