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Houston Matters

Despite Cerebral Palsy, Comedian Maysoon Zayid Never Thought She Was Different

She talks about growing up disabled and Muslim ahead of her Feb. 8 event with Asia Society Texas Center.


Comedian and actress Maysoon Zayid.


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Comedian and actress Maysoon Zayid has cerebral palsy. She's also a Palestinian and a Muslim.

And all of that finds its way into her act.

“If there was an oppression Olympics, I would win the gold medal,” Zayid said in a 2014 TedTalk. “I’m Palestinian, Muslim, I’m female, I’m disabled, and I live in New Jersey.”

Zayid's on stage Saturday, Feb. 8, at a sold-out event with the Asia Society Texas Center, where she’ll be interviewed by Houston Public Media's Ernie Manouse.

In the audio above, she tells Ernie she didn't always know she was funny – but she's always been a storyteller.

And she explains how her parents raised her not to see herself as different from any other kid.

Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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