Funny Girls MENA: the region’s only all-female stand-up comedy show

Meet the Arab world's first all-female stand-up comedy troupe, the Funny Girls MENA, as they make people laugh for a good cause.

There’s a lot to laugh about for the region’s funny girls, a group of side-splitting stand-up comedians who banded together to make people laugh in Dubai and beyond.

Started up by Mina Liccione, the co-founder of Dubai’s pioneering stand-up group, Dubomedy, Funny Girls MENA is the region’s first and only all-female stand-up comedy show.

Women in stand-up are increasingly gaining prominence around the world, but the sector like most others can be hostile to women. In the US, only 1 in 4 comics are women.

The problem is compounded by a significant gender gap in pay and stage time. With platforms like Funny Girls MENA, women have the opportunity to speak their truths and develop a unique voice through comedy, once the preserve of men alone.

The Funny Girls are all about empowering women and breaking negative stereotypes through the art of comedy.

Since its first show in 2010, the troupe has performed at universities, women’s events, festivals and breast cancer awareness tours in hopes of encouraging women to be more proactive about their health.

Mina Liccione: comedy for a cause

Mina Liccione came up with the idea based on her own experiences as one of the first women in stand-up in Dubai. Liccione has a long list of credits including the lead comedic role in STOMP, MTV, Cirque Du Soleil, MBC, BBC, Edinburgh Fringe Festival and more.

She has performed alongside stand-up legends including Gabriel Iglesias “The Fluffy Guy”, Tommy Davidson and a five-show run in New York with Judah Friedlander of the TV Series 30 Rock.

Liccione also made Rolling Stone magazine’s “This year’s funniest people” issue and was awarded “Best Solo Comedy Show” at the San Francisco WOW Festival. She was also nominated for an Emirates Woman of the Year award and Ahlan’s ‘Best female personality’ accolade.

For Liccione, comedy is also about giving back to the community and rallying people together in laughter. She co-founded the Clowns Who Care Project with her husband Ali Al Sayed, to organize shows and creative workshops for children with special needs, orphans, and those residing in refugee camps.

She recently filmed her first stand-up comedy special entitled “Araby by Nature” and can currently be seen on two Comedy Central Arabia TV Shows; Comedy Central Arabia Presents…Stand-up Comedy and season 2 of Ridiculousness.

Funny Girls go PINK!

Now Liccione and the Funny Girls are back to perform a special stand-up comedy show in support of breast cancer awareness. Ahead of the show tonight (2nd November), they stress that this is not a ladies-only show. “We encourage men to come join us for a laugh!”

The show will be hosted by Liccione and will feature Dubomedy’s beloved Funny Girls; Shaima Al Sayed, Sameera Khan, Jyotsna Lakhiani, Liz Bains, Natajia Miller, Zahra Mirza, Nidaa Babar with special guest comic Mona Aburmishan flying in from the USA.

The event will also feature preventative information and resources from Dubai Medical College and Prime Hospital, the Pink Ribbon Crafters, 501st Legion UAE Outpost, and an inspiring talk by cancer survivor Lina Al-Sharif. The night will end with a musical performance by Beatbox Ray.

If you’d like to attend Funny Girls go PINK at 8.30pm at the Diamond Ballroom at the Address Dubai Mall, RSVP with your name and number of guests to rsvp@dubomedy.com.

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