Palestinian-American Mo Amer tells of 'therapeutic' experience of making new Netflix comedy

Palestinian-American Mo Amer tells of 'therapeutic' experience of making new Netflix comedy
Palestinian-American Mo Amer said making his hit eight-part Netflix series, especially the flashbacks to his family's experiences in Kuwait, was 'therapeutic and rewarding'.
2 min read
17 November, 2022
Mo said creating the show was like 'reliving' these experiences 'in such a powerful way' [source: Getty]

Palestinian-American comedian Mo Amer has said creating his Netflix hit show "Mo" was both "therapeutic and rewarding". 

The eight-part series follows Mo's life as a refugee in Houston Texas, telling the story of how his family left Palestine and fled Kuwait before coming to the US. 

It is the first show scripted and starring a Palestinian on the international streaming platform and has been hailed as a breakthrough for Palestinian representation. 

"I mean, some of them are really difficult memories of fleeing war, to coming to Houston," said Mo on The Kelly Clarkson Show. 

"I recreated the home that we fled from in Kuwait. That was really special and unique, and my mum would just cry immediately when she watched that flashback."

The comedian said one particular scene stands out for him. 

In the second episode, Yamo - a Syrian slang term for "mother" - there’s a moment when his on-screen mother makes olive oil while a famous song "Yamo" by Sami Hejazi plays in the background. 

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"I’ve seen my father cry on two separate occasions," said Mo. 

"When my grandmother passed away and when he was watching a TV show and they played the song Yamo." 

Mo's father passed away when he was in high school. 

The show includes moments of him in Kuwait, as well as the revelation, which Mo only discovered later in life, that his father was tortured during the Gulf War. 

There's also the heart-stopping moment when alongside his mother and siblings, Mo hides their sparse savings from security forces on their journey from Kuwait to the US. 

It took the Palestinian 20 years to obtain American citizenship, with the show depicting the highs and lows of this struggle.