Anybody who says America is not great，hasn’t tried other countries paper towels.
Suzie Afridi a Christian Palestinian American living in New York finds humor in unexpected places.
Many of her stories spring from her own childhood growing up in the West Bank.
I remember as a kid I would always make funny observations.I remember one time I told my sister I said ,the Israelis have demolished this home but the furniture is still there so let’s go there and play a tea party.
But it was not until she came to the United States and met her future husband Sahib Afridi ,a Boston from Pakistan that her talent for comedy began to bloom.
I remember when I told my husband that I want to take a comedy writing class he was so supportive.He said okay because he said I am so glad, because I’m so sick of hearing your opinions.The world needs to also hear your opinions.This is my mom in Ramallah.
Afraid his husband may have been supportive but her family did not approve of her decision to marry a Muslim man.
She is thankful she lives in the US and not the Middle East.
And I remember clearly like when they decided to disown me they had a meeting and they decided to disown me.I remember telling all my brothers and my sisters and their spousesbut look if you want to disown me, go ahead because I’m educated, I’m working.If things don’t work out with this guy, but if he decides to do all of the things that you are afraid Muslims would dolike kidnap our children and move to Pakistan or like marry another womanwhatever you know Christian Arabs ideas of what a Muslim man will do.If he decides to do those things and I can divorce him.I mean I’m living in America and I think this is what this country gives us.It is the freedom to think for yourself.
Afridi takes comfort knowing she married a Muslim and no one died.
She writes a blog called Susie Say So to talk about her personal conflicts and the cultural journeythat has taken her from a small village in the West Bank to doing stand-up in New York.
Her advice to immigrants like her -find your voice and tell your story.
It’s very important to learn public speaking, because it’s how we are as brown people as well as Muslims,how we gonna get back our narrative because our narrative is hijacked you know it’s hijacked by the terroristsand it’s hijacked by the media in America that needs to continue the weapons industry you know.So we need to own our own narrative and I think comedy is a great way of doing that.
Afridi is writing a book about her experiences and hopes to start a storytelling class to teach others the art of self-expression
And if no one can do it, hi baby, how can I do it.
Samina Ahsan for VOA News New York