Maysoon Zayid

Author Speaker

Saturday, June 24: 9:00AM―10:00AM, CT


Author Speaker Maysoon Zayid, ALA Annual Chicago, June 22-27, 2023

Maysoon Zayid

Maysoon Zayid is a comedian, actress, writer, and disability advocate. As a woman of Palestinian descent, she is known as one of America's first Muslim women comedians. She is the co-founder/co-executive producer of the New York Arab American Comedy Festival and The Muslim Funny Fest. She was a full-time on-air contributor to Countdown with Keith Olbermann and a columnist for the Daily Beast. She had the most viewed TED Talk of 2014, in which she joked that if there were a competition called the Oppression Olympics, she would win gold: “I’m Palestinian, Muslim, I’m a woman of color, I’m disabled, and I live in New Jersey.”

Zayid's debut graphic novel for young readers, "Shiny Misfits", available 2024, is a hilarious story about fame and friendship, paired with art by illustrator Shadia Amin. In it, Bay Ann goes viral after wobbling at the end of her Halloween tap dance performance—not because of her amazing tap routine (she crushed it), but because it’s an "inspirational" moment when Alyee Maq, her crush and classmate, catches her. The world sees Bay Ann's cerebral palsy—not her talent. Bay Ann is determined to find the thing that will make her famous in her own right, but everything she tries goes hilariously off the rails, until she has to face a choice between the possibility of fame and glory or friendship.

As a professional comedian, Zayid has sold out top New York clubs and has toured extensively at home and abroad. She was a headliner on the Arabs Gone Wild Comedy Tour and the Together Live Tour, and she appeared alongside Adam Sandler in You Don’t Mess with the Zohan. She has appeared on 60 Minutes, CNN Tonight, ABC’s 20/20, and she has written for Glamour magazine. She limped in New York Fashion Week, is a recurring character on General Hospital, and collaborated with Huda Beauty on a lipstick campaign. Zayid is a graduate of Arizona State University and a Princeton Fellow. She is also the author of the best-selling memoir "Find Another Dream". You can find out more at

A book signing will take place outside the ballroom immediately after the session.


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