Muslim comedian Baba Ali keeps it family friendly

Ryan Friend

Muslim students and family gathered Thursday night and listened to Muslim comedian Baba Ali.

Muslim students and family gathered in the Michael Schwartz Center Thursday night and listened to Muslim comedian Baba Ali present family friendly jokes regarding Islamic culture.

“I personally think it is a very good way of entertainment,” Marwa Ghumrawi, Vice President of the Muslim Student Association, pre-dentistry major, and junior at Kent State. “There are no bad words or bad jokes, bad things to talk about. It is very appropriate, clean, and you will leave with a message.”

The Muslim Student Association asked Baba Ali, whose real name is Ali Ardekani, to speak on behalf of their celebration of Islam Enlightment Week. An anonymous donor funded Ali’s presence on the university.

According to Ghumrawi, “Baba” actually means father in the Arabic language. As the night progressed, the comedian walked back and forth on the stage talking about various topics, ranging from things Muslims should never do in an airport to praying in public places. He also included jokes about men and women’s reflections of talking to people in restrooms.

After the speaker was done presenting material, he began to display his life story and how he came to be.

“I came from a very rich family. In Iranian culture, the rich were educated and the poor followed religion,” Ali said. “ I had my clothes folded for me, and I had servants in my house. My parents were all about education and never mentioned religion to me.”

While searching out his personal beliefs, Ali looked into different religions and found something wrong with each of them until he came across Islam.

“After I picked the Islamic faith at the age of 20, my parents cut away everything from me,” Ali said during a question and answer session. “ I was on my own. I’m just an awkward guy — you can ask my wife. I act the same on stage as I do at home.”

Friday from 7-9 p.m. in the Kiva, the Muslim Student Association will have a presentation titled “Moses, Jesus, Mohammad: One Message.”

Contact religion reporter Ryan Friend at [email protected].