"Bassem Youssef is my hero." – Jon Stewart
Bassem Youssef, dubbed the Jon Stewart of the Arab World, was a practicing cardiothoracic surgeon when he became the creator and host of popular TV show Al-Bernameg— the first political satire show in the Middle East. Originally a 5-minute show shot from Youssef’s laundry room and posted on YouTube days after protests in Tahrir Square unseated Egypt’s ruling elite, Al-Bernameg became the most watched show across the region with 30 million viewers every week.
Accused of being “anti-Islam” and insulting the President, Youssef was arrested and interrogated before being released on bail. The show achieved unprecedented ratings before Youssef announced its termination due to overwhelming political pressures.
In this evening’s talk, Youssef will be discussing the role of satire in revolution and giving a brief modern account of the Middle East in totally new light. In 2013, Youssef was named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People and was awarded the International Press Freedom Award by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).