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    America (Illionis)

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Azhar Usman
Comedian
Biography

Born in America (Illionis) in 1975, Azhar Usman has been a lawyer, a community activist and also a lecturer. He is more famous and known for his American comedy and has also worked mainly as an actor and a writer. “Ayatuolla of Comedy” is something that he has always been referred with and infact, one of the remarkable contributions is his “Allah made me funny-the official Muslim comedy tour” which became one of his success factor among his contributions. His parents had migrated from India so he is an Indian descent. As a child, he has lived in suburb area of Chicago. He studies at the University of Illionis and was a BA graduate in Communications and Spanish. He has even studied law and that from University of Minnesota Law School. In his early working days, he had set up a startup – dot-com. We also know through sources that he had turned a handsome salary for his own startup but then started practicing law. After practicing law, standup comedy became his profession. He used to do standup comedy just for time pass and often with his friend. This, then became a hobby and the hobby turned into his profession. As a hobby, he started doing it in 1996 and would go to Minneapolis club. It was then when he wrote an act of his own in 2000. This gave start to performing stand-up and by 2004 he had almost made it his full profession. During those times he had performed in more than 20 countries, let alone be U.S.

Professional background

His very famous comedy tour which gave more success was “Allah Made Me Funny”, launched in 2004. This comedy tour was in 30 cities of U.S. only in its first year and then went over even to Canada, Malaysia, South Africa, New Zealand, Middle East and many other countries. One of the things that makes him stand out is his comedy style. He talks and jokes about himself and how people misjudge him being a terrorist. He even talks about his childhood in America and stories about his families. He says “The only way to really meaningfully heal all of this anxiety and tension in the country centered around Muslims is for there to be super real and honest conversations,” "Stand-up comedy happens to be this wonderful method to which you really can deliver sugar-coated medicine ... jokes spreading education and information." Apart from his comedy career, Usman Azhar is also an activist, he has also been a board member of the non-profit Nawawi Foundation which is a dedication for Islamic research. Being an artist, he is also an advisor to Inner City Muslim Action Network for Arts and Culture. Azhar Usman has always been an influential character who has influenced everyone through his contributions be it non-profit organizations, law or comedy.

Notable works

There have been literally 100 media outlets from the world which have covered his comedy which includes The Economist, The New York Times, CNN News Headline and even on ABC Nightline. He has made and played characters on short films aired on E4 and MTV Networks. He has not only performed alone but also with Kin Gaffigan, Russell Peter, Dave Chappelle and Todd Barry. CNN has also aired a full hour special show with Q&A Session as America’s Funniest Muslim. Usman Azhar is one of the gems among the American Muslim comedians. One of his productions – “Square the Circle: American Muslim Comedy of Distortion” has made him recognized as a classic American Muslim comedian.