“Ramy” Resonates with Audiences

Representing First-Generation Americans

Dayra Santana, Features Editor

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Ramy Hassan is your average millennial. He works at a startup that creates dating apps, he’s got goofy friends that give him bad advice and a little sister who won’t get off his back.

Sometimes, if he’s lucky, he even ends up at house parties on the Upper East Side. He also happens to be a practicing Muslim — he believes in God, “like God God, not yoga.”

Stand-up comedian and Egyptian-American Ramy Youssef created and stars as Ramy Hassan in “Ramy,” a semi-autobiographical sitcom that premiered on Hulu on April 19. The show focuses on being a Muslim-American in a way that no other show has done.

It is rare to see a main character washing up before Friday prayer at a mosque, while indulging in everything his American counterparts do; although it does not come without moral dilemma. As he puts it, it’s the act of juggling “Friday prayer and Friday nights.” Hassan’s struggle to find his identity feels universal, as it is similar to  the struggle of other first and second-generation Americans.

When Hassan listens to his father lecture him on how he came to this country for a better life –– the subsequent conversation and feeling of guilt in the pit of Ramy’s stomach are all too familiar for some. Hassan fears losing a piece of his culture by being in the states and not in Egypt. His fear of disappointing his parents by not having a traditional job and his fear that he is doing everything wrong resonates with other first and second-gen Americans.

This deeply nuanced show has a fresh sense of humor that gives audiences a look into just one of the many diverse stories this country has to offer. It serves as a reminder that we are all more alike than we think. And the best part — he has no clue what he’s doing, just like the rest of us.

 

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