Ep. 80: Mona Aburmishan
Mona is an international comedian and Emcee who has performed, emceed, and produced comedy shows, competitions and events in major clubs, theaters and universities around the world since 2010.
Mona is also a sought-after speaker for her experience using stand-up comedy as a transformative method for healing trauma & PTSD in various socio-political topics in the United States, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Mona has a Master’s in International Development and is fluent in English, German and Arabic and performs in these languages; while she now works on her PhD.
Mona became the 1st Arab &Muslim woman to perform stand-up comedy in the nation’s most prestigious institutions: twice at the John F. Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall!
As an international producer, host and headliner, Mona’s average track record is in less than one week performing and/or producing 9-10 shows spanning Palestine, Switzerland, and the heart of London’s thriving comedy scene. Mona was a special featured guest honoring her self-produced tour on “Islam Channel” as a thriving female Muslim in global entertainment which was broadcast to over 100+ countries. Uniquely impacting nearly every aspect of the comedy business while also co-producing the first and only Annual “1,001 Laughs Palestine Comedy Festival” in Ramallah, Bethlehem & Jerusalem.
In addition to regularly performing in the North America, Europe, UK and Middle East, Mona is a sought-after headliner on the African continent. Mona, was a featured guest on “Al Bernameg” with host Dr. Bassem Youssef’s; and twice headlined Comedy Central’s “Comedy Central Present: Stand Up Al Waggif” filmed in Dubai. She was the first female to headline this revolutionary series produced by Viacom.
Becoming a regular in the South African market, Mona just recently completed her second tour and is the first American, Palestinian AND Muslim woman in history to ever headline and host Africa’s most significant comedy establishments – The Cape Town Comedy Club, Goliath & Parker’s Comedy Club. these groundbreaking comedy clubs. While on tour in South Africa, Mona appeared on “Expresso” and numerous national radio programs discussing her tour and her comedy workshops.
Globally, Mona launched “Class Clowns” a stand-up comedy, improv, spoken word & writing workshop for kids and adults of all ages in all environments using the comedy club as a microcosm for leadership, self-expression, face-to-face empowerment and healing. The workshop is currently running in the Chicago & Cape Town, South Africa. “Leadership isn’t just the person on stage talking into a microphone, it’s everyone around that person making sure the microphone is on and the person is seen & heard!”
Currently, Mona continues to tour throughout the world while working on her PhD.
Understanding the Muslim Mind
If we could take all of Islamic intellectual history, what sort of patterns and principles could we deduce? More importantly, if we found someone who actually knew all this information, what would they look like, think like, talk like, etc.?
One of the unique features of Islam as an intellectual system is that it possesses a mechanism for renewal and revival within itself. This mechanism is the instrument of ijtihād- independent legal reasoning- that allows a trained and licensed jurist to develop new rulings and judgements for situations that are unprecedented, nuanced, and, in a way, of a troublesome nature. There is a lot of literature within Islamic legal tradition that explains the vast contours of ijtihād. Familiar discussions outline the common set of must-know legal rules and principles, interpretive tools used to unlock meanings within the primary texts, and auxiliary disciplines needed in order for one’s ijtihād to be effective and within the broad limits of orthodoxy. These are standard in any work that discuss the instrument of ijtihād. There are other discussions, however, that one comes across from time to time that shed a little more light on the phycology and mindset behind the person engaging in ijtihad, namely the mujtahid. One interesting description, courtesy of Imam Ghazali (d. 505/1111), is the need for the mujtahid to have vast amounts of creativity. The more creativity a mujtahid has, the more creative thinking they can bring to bear on a particular issue, the better they will be able to come up with right solutions and right answers; especially solutions that will last the test of time. To be creative in this context, therefore, is to think outside the box and dare to be innovative. It is to ask the right questions, not just memorize standard answers.MORE