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Funny Girls: Exploring the New Wave of Egyptian Women Stand-Up Comedians

February 6, 2023

In a large auditorium, there is energy and excitement as people find their seats. The lights dim down, the stage lights shine, and loud waves of applause sound through the room, giving it up for the women stand-up comedians making their way to the stage. Bold, powerful, and undeniably funny are the women stand-up comedians dominating spaces of entertainment and comedy. They represent a new wave of unique and dynamic female comedians surfacing in Egypt, pushing boundaries and vanquishing stigmas, one show at a time. Much like many other forms of art, stand-up comedians express themselves and their ideas to the world–only, they focus on doing so with punchy jokes . In the journal article ‘Standup Comedy as Social and Cultural Mediation’ (1985), author Lawrence E. Mintz explains that “standup is arguably the oldest, most universal, and deeply significant form of humorous expression.” He argues that “it is the purest comic communication, performing essentially the same social and cultural roles in practically every known society—past and present.” Comedy and Egypt go hand-in-hand, because generally, Egyptians are described as sha’b ibn nokta: “a population raised on feel-good, quick comedy.” The emergence…

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