Iranian-American comedian Maz Jobrani to speak at spring 2017 commencement

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Maz Jobrani, an Iranian-American comedian, is set to deliver the keynote address at the UC Berkeley spring 2017 commencement, according to a campus press release issued Monday.

Best known for his career in comedy and television, Jobrani studied political science at UC Berkeley — an experience that provided him with insight about the relationship between the United States and Iran and that he now uses in his comedy, according to the press release.

“Jobrani embodies the diversity and ambition of Berkeley students,” said Marisa Fong, president of the Berkeley student committee that is helping plan the commencement, in the press release.

When Jobrani was six years old, he came to the United States from Iran and has since used his comedy and personal experiences to tackle stereotypes about Middle Eastern immigrants, the press release stated. Despite his parents’ wish for him to pursue a career as a lawyer, Jobrani left the political science doctorate program he was enrolled in at UCLA to pursue comedy.

“There comes a time in your life when you realize, I have one life and it’s my life,” Jobrani said in the press release. “I have to live it for myself.”

Contact Ani Vahradyan at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @anivahrad.

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