I really enjoyed Friday’s lecture because we had as a guest Shaista Aziz. Shaista is a British, Pakistani, Muslim stand up comedienne, a former BBC and Al Jazeera journalist and an International aid worker; Shaista has travelled all over the world from Iraq, Gaza and Yemen to, Haiti, Tajikistan, Burma and Moscow. This women is an example for me, because she is completely dedicated to her work. I think that she has a strong character, but in he same time she is also sensitive. Not too many people accept to put their life in jeopardy, but she did so. She went in one of the most dangerous places, she wants to be in the middle of everything. She shared with us some of her experiences, she described us the life from Iraq, Haiti etc., making us reflect upon some valuable things in life.
I have found some interesting things about her stand up comedian career on a website: http://www.1stwitness.co.uk
To date Shaista has reached the semi finals of the prestigious Funny Women competition in September 2010 to find the UK’s funniest new female stand up comedienne. Shaista beat 350 stand ups to reach the last 24 in the competition judged by an influential panel of industry specialist. She also won the prestigious ‘’King Gong’’ open mic competition at the Comedy Store in Manchester, UK, in May 2010 and has performed at the world famous Edinburgh Festival, the world’s biggest international arts festival.
In October 2010 Shaista performed at the Hong Kong International Comedy Festival. The Hong Kong Comedy Festival is one of the world’s most diverse comedy festivals featuring 34 stand up comics from across Asia.
Shaista also performed stand up to an estimated 25,000 people at London’s Excel Centre, one of the largest gathering of Muslims in the world, at the Global Peace and Unity Event 2010.
Shaista is frequently booked to perform stand up for a number of corporate events. She recently delivered her sharp, observational comedy at the International Law firm Clifford Chance at its London Headquarters.
Alongside writing and performing stand up comedy Shaista has written for The Guardian newspaper and is a regular contributor to BBC. The self confessed news junkie’s comedy reflects her observations of being a Muslim woman living in the west, being in a mixed marriage to an Arab and reflects her extensive travels around the Middle East including Palestine, Iraq, Iran and around the world.