The Ripple Effect of Goodness: Ramy on SNL!

Greetings of Peace (al salamu ‘alaykum) dear Friends! 


I pray you are as well as can be expected given the state of the world. 


I, for one, am enjoying returning to non-fasting brain mode! :) Time to get busy trying to make change for the better…


Ramy Youssef on SNL!

Speaking of changing things for the better, congratulations to our dear friend, Ramy Youssef, who made history on the iconic Saturday Night Live Opening Monologue recently! At a time when things are dark everywhere for the Muslim world, it is important for us to celebrate BIG achievements that are worth celebrating. It was a BIG DEAL for a Muslim comedian to be featured on SNL. But even more so, Ramy knocked it out of the part with a powerfully creative monologue in which he was able to work in the reference to a FREE PALESTINE, something virtually unheard of in our modern Islamophobic, anti-Palestine, pro-Western media. He did it brilliantly, with comic flair, and finesse. He demonstrated a humble, open, even-handedness in being Muslim, and from the many, many comments on YouTube, managed to charm and captivate so many people, from those who knew him well to those who had never heard of him. He did us all proud! Here it is:






The Ripple Effect of Goodness

I was also pleasantly surprised to come across a reference to Ramy’s monologue in a Substack article that crossed my eye-path this week. It was written by Etgar Keret, an accomplished Israeli writer whose Substack is called “Alphabet Soup.” In his piece, he writes: 


“…A couple of weeks ago, I watched the Egyptian-American comic Ramy Youssef’s opening monologue on Saturday Night Live. Towards the end, he talked of praying for God to ‘stop the violence’ and ‘free the people of Palestine,’ and the audience responded with raucous applause. As a world-weary Israeli, I diagnosed the enthusiastic crowd as liberal, pro-Palestinian New Yorkers. But a second later, Youssef said he was also praying for all the hostages to be freed, and was met with equally loud applause. That was when I understood that, unlike my social media feeds, where there is a clear-cut split between Israel-lovers and Israel-haters, the rest of humanity is mostly very human: when it sees a panicked young Israeli woman being dragged into Gaza, it wants her to be released; when it sees a hungry Palestinian family huddled under a makeshift tent, mourning its dead, it wants their suffering to stop. Yes, I know, a lot of people will now jump up to explain that you can’t compare Palestinian suffering to Israeli suffering, or Israeli suffering to Palestinian suffering, and that one side is to blame while the other side was simply left with no choice. But beyond all the explanations and reasonings, however impassioned, there remains one basic truth: suffering is suffering, and it’s only human to want it to end as soon as possible…”


Now, I usually run away as soon as I get the whiff of writing that even begins to “justify” the ongoing genocide in Palestine, but I was pleasantly surprised to arrive at the end point the writer made about human suffering, more importantly, that Palestinian suffering was actually human suffering. Most of all, I was pleased that he referenced Ramy’s monologue as the example to bridge the chasm that divided the two sides of the same humanity.


To me, it is an amazing example of the difference that one can unknowingly make to spread goodness and understanding where it is needed most. Who knows where this ripple effect, and the many other unknown ripple effects of goodness, will go, thanks to a well-thought out, dignified, and beautifully humane display of God’s gift of humor to Ramy before millions of people on SNL? Only God knows. May Ramy and many others reap the rewards of all that goodness. Well played, Ramy! Mabrook (Congratulations)!



Weekend of October 11-12, 2024