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US think-tank: Saudis are humor and comedy lovers

Shak and Khaliv Kalifa
DALLAS: When we think of Saudi Arabia and its people, humor most likely isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. However, the Middle East Institute in Dallas proved that the country is in love with humor and comedy.

The institute sponsored a free one-hour touring show at the Magnolia Hotel Wednesday night featuring three Saudi comedians: Yaser Bakr, who founded Saudi Arabia’s first comedy club, Shak and Khaliv Kalifa.

The event opened with Kalifa, whose set consisted mostly of observational humor based on his experiences in Saudi Arabia and the United States, where he was born and lived for a while, while Shak performed a comedy routine in which he mocked racism in a way that appealed to the audience.

Yaser Bakr closed out the evening with a comedy performance that was rewarded with a big round of applause.

The Middle East Institute in Dallas pointed out that 70 percent of the Saudi people are below the age of 30, and are subscribed to comedy websites and platforms, which makes them tops among Arabs who most seek humor and comedy.

The Saudi comedians told the institute that comedy has helped them freely criticize their society.

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