Sheikh mikaeel smith
Shaykh Mikaeel Ahmed Smith (Michael V Smith) is an instructor at Qalam. He is a teacher at the Qalam Seminary, and online at Qalam Connect. He travels around the country conducting classes and seminars like Prophetic Empathy. You can listen to him regularly on the Qalam Podcast, including the Purification of the Heart series.
Shaykh Mikaeel previously served as a resident scholar at the Islamic Society of Annapolis and the Islamic Society of Baltimore. He grew up in a deeply spiritual Christian home in Buffalo, NY. At the age of 18, he embraced Islam after reading the Qur’an and the Autobiography of Malcolm X. He then enrolled at the Dar ul-Uloom al-Madania in Buffalo, NY, where he completed his memorization of the Qur’an. He continued his studies in Jami’a Abu Noor in Damascus, Syria.
In 2012, he earned his Bachelor's Degree in Islamic Studies at the Dar ul-Uloom Canada in Chatham, Ontario. He is the author of With the Heart in Mind, a book exploring the moral and emotional intelligence of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. He currently resides in Dallas, TX with his wife and three children.
Amer Zahr is an Arab-American comedian, speaker, writer, academic, and adjunct professor at University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. He draws on his experiences growing up as a child of Palestinian immigrant parents, performing and lecturing on topics like politics, society, Islam, growing up Arab, and more.
In 2016, Amer also served as a surrogate for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
In February 2016, Amer headlined a packed house at New York City’s world-famous Carnegie Hall, alongside Palestinian-American comedians Said Durrah, Mona Aburmishan, and Mike Easmeil
In June 2015, Amer headlined at the world-famous John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. He produced this show as well, making it the first time that an all-Palestinian cast took the stage at the internationally-renowned venue.
He has produced and headlined in 3 of his own comedy tours, “1001 Laughs Comedy Tour,” “We’re Not White!” and “In 1948.”
He founded and produced the first-ever “1001 Laughs Ramallah Comedy Festival,” a production in Palestine that featured 10 comedians and 7 shows in August 2015. The festival entertained over 2,000 locals and was funded by the US Consulate General in Jerusalem, a branch of the United States Department of State. Amer, as the producer of the festival, received great acclaim and much media attention from the following outlets:
CNN | CNN Arabic | BBC Arabic | Haaretz | Al-Hurra | Palestine Today | Wattan TV | MAAN Network | 972 Mag | Palestine News Network | Sky News
He is also the producer of the annual “1001 Laughs Dearborn Comedy Festival” in Dearborn, Michigan at the Arab American National Museum.
Amer recently completed production on his first documentary film, “We’re Not White,” a comedic and informative approach to the Arab-American struggle to get a box on the United States Census Form. Join the Facebook Page here.
He is also the author of the well-read blog “The Civil Arab,” as well as his first book, “Being Palestinian Makes Me Smile,” a collection of his writings relating to being Palestinian.
Amer holds an MA in Middle East Studies and a JD (law degree), both from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He writes and speaks widely on political and social affairs, and has appeared on radio and television, including ABC’s “Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher.” Some of his writings have been featured in major publications, including Time magazine, and Al-Jazeera.
Amer has performed throughout North America & the Middle East, including shows in:
America: New York City, Washington, DC, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, Boston, Raleigh, Cleveland, San Diego, Pittsburgh
Colleges: Portland State University, University of Colorado, University of Michigan, Carnegie Mellon University, Wooster College, University of Connecticut, Loyola University – Chicago, Stanford University, University of North Carolina, San Diego St University, Michigan State University
Internationally: Jerusalem, Amman, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Haifa, Nazareth, Tel Aviv, Muscat (Oman), Kuwait City, Cairo, Beirut, Dubai, London, Toronto