All-American Muslims come to town
During an exhibition of music and comedy at the Arab American National Museum Nov. 3, cast members of TLC’s series “All-American Muslim” acted in an Arab version of “The Dating Game.” Comedians Ali Beydoun (left), Bilal Amen and Ali Abdallah perform with Nader Aude (right) during the skit.
By DANIEL HERATY
DEARBORN – Two residents who will be featured on national television performed at a local museum Nov. 3.
Bilal Amen and Nader Aoude, local comedians featured on TLC’s “All-American Muslim,” a show about American families in Dearborn premiering 10 p.m. Nov. 13, performed a sketch comedy routine at the Arab American National Museum that was produced and directed by Dearborn native Mike Mossalam, who is also a co-executive producer of “All-American Muslim” and director of the Wayne County Film Initiative.
The production was part of the museum’s Global Thursdays — A Concert of Colors series, sponsored by DTE Energy, Comerica Bank, DoubleTree by Hilton and Masco Corp. The series showcases artists, musicians and films from across the country, including a performance in January by Detroit blues artist Alberta Adams and a screening in May of “Freedom Riders,” a Public Broadcasting System documentary about the civil rights movement.
According to a press release from TLC, the eight-episode series will focus on the lives of five families in the city, including how they manage marriages, new births and careers. Each episode will offer a look at their customs and how they deal with misconceptions they face, sometimes from within their own community.
“‘All-American Muslim’ shows how these individuals negotiate universal family issues while remaining faithful to the traditions and beliefs of their faith,” the release states. “The families featured in the series share the same religion, but lead very distinct lives that often times challenge the Muslim stereotype.”
Aoude said he was thankful for the ability to make people laugh and had some advice for younger comedians.
“Dream big,” he said. “And don’t let anything limit you or let anything stand in the way.”
Amen, who also works as the director of Operations at Helping Youth Progress & Excel Athletics, admitted some nerves before taking the stage.
“I’m used to giving lectures at the Islamic Institute of Knowledge,” he said. “This is the first time acting for me.”
The skit was the final act of a production that included a musical performance by Ann-Arbor based singer and songwriter Hana Malhas and stand-up comedy by Chicago-based Khaled Taha, who founded Arab-issh in 2010, a group of up-and-coming comedians from the Middle East, the Mediterranean and North Africa.
(Daniel Heraty can be reached at [email protected].)