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ramy youssef prays for a free palestine and to free the hostages in emotional snl monologue
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Ramy Youssef prays for a ‘free Palestine’ and to ‘free the hostages’ in emotional ‘SNL’ monologue

Ramy Youssef, who starred in the Oscar-nominated film “Poor Things,” delivered an impassioned opening monologue as host of “Saturday Night Live.” “This is an incredibly spiritual weekend,” the “Ramy” creator began on a light note. “We’re in the holy month of Ramadan. Tomorrow is Easter. And yesterday, Beyoncé released a new album. There’s just so many religions celebrating all at once.” “In my friend group, I’m one of the only guys who prays,” the actor continued. “I’m friends with a lot of sinners — like, just disgusting people. And they call me when they’re in trouble because they want me to pray for them. Youssef, 33, then joked that he was recently praying for a friend who was in the middle of a custody battle over his dog, before revealing that another one of his friends had asked him to pray for his family who were stuck in Gaza. “I’m like, ‘Dude, I got you.’ So that night, I go to pray, and my prayers are… complicated,” he says. “I’ve got a lot to fit in. I’m like, ‘God, please, please help Ahmed’s family. Please stop the suffering. Stop the violence. Please free the people of Palestine, please.’” “’And please free the hostages, all the hostages, please,’” he continued as the crowd in Studio 8H roared in approval. “‘And while you’re at it, you know, free Mr. Bojangles. He’s a beautiful dog. I’m praying for that dog,’” he added. The Golden Globe winner has been a longtime advocate for a permanent cease-fire in Gaza since Hamas invaded in October 2023. “We’re calling for immediate, permanent cease-fire in Gaza. We’re calling for peace and lasting justice for the people of Palestine,” the actor had stated to Variety while on the red carpet for the 2024 Academy Awards. “It’s a universal message of, ‘Let’s stop killing kids. Let’s not be part of more war,’” he stated. “No one has ever looked back at war and thought a bombing campaign was a good idea.” “To be surrounded by so many artists who are willing to lend their voices… the list is growing,” Youssef added.” A lot of people are going to be wearing these pins tonight. There’s a lot of talking heads on the news. This is a space of talking hearts. We’re trying to have this big beam to humanity.” Youssef is not the only host of the popular comedy show to have referenced the conflict during their time as host. In October, Pete Davidson — who returned to “SNL” after leaving in 2022 — had his own take regarding the conflict. “This week we saw the horrible images and stories from Israel and Gaza. And I know what you’re thinking: ‘Who better to comment on it than Pete Davidson,’” the 29-year-old comedian laughed. “Well, in a lot of ways, I am a good person to talk about it because when I was 7 years old, my dad was killed in a terrorist attack. So I know something about what that’s like.” “I saw so many terrible pictures this week. Children suffering. Israeli children and Palestinian children. And it took me back to a really horrible, horrible place. No one in this world deserves to suffer like that, especially not kids.”

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