arab-american comedian maysoon zayid: “i’m like shakira meets muhammad ali”

January 14, 2014

“I got 99 problems and palsy is just one. If there was an oppression Olympics, I would win the gold medal. I’m Palestinian, Muslim, female, disabled, and I live in New Jersey.” -Maysoon Zayid
Maysoon Zayid shares a colorful story of human limitation, and how her resilience overcame the disadvantages of having cerebral palsy. For this Arab-American actress, comedian, and philanthropist, “disability is as visual as race.”

By Wilkine Brutus, AFROPUNK Contributor *

Whether it’s her inability to land film roles perfectly suited for her and her disability or facing insensitive trolls on the internet, Zayid takes us on a funny ride through the double standards and cruelty we, as a society, often ignore regarding people with disabilities.

“If a wheel chair user can’t play Beyonce, then Beyonce can’t play a wheel chair user”

“I’m like Shakira meets Muhammad Ali.”
Zayid is absolutely hilarious, and beneath her inspirational comedy lies a universal truth: we need to “create more positive images of people with disabilities in the media.”

Like Muhammad Ali, there is a relentless fight in her; a beautiful fight which brings everyone to her ringside, and supports her every move and all of her smart ideas.

Listen to her remarkable speech above. You will laugh throughout the entire TED video, and if you haven’t already, you’ll see wonderful humans with disabilities quite differently.

* Wilkine Brutus’ website: