Bassem Raafat Muhammad Youssef (born March 22, 1974, Arabic: باسم رأفت محمد يوسف) is an Egyptian doctor, satirist, and the host of Al Bernameg ("The Program"), a satirical Egyptian news program broadcasted by CBC. The press has compared Youssef with American comedian Jon Stewart, whose satire program The Daily Show inspired Youssef to begin his career.[1][2][3]


Youssef began his first satirical show in March 2011 in response to the Egyptian Revolution and 2011 Syrian uprising. Entitled The B+ Show, the program was uploaded to his YouTube Channel.[4]

After the success of The B+ Show, Egyptian channel ONTV, owned by Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris, offered Youssef a deal for Al Bernameg(Literally translates to "The Show").[5] The show premiered during Ramadan 2011 with Egyptian-American engineer Muhammad Radwan as its first guest.[6][7] Youssef has parodied Egyptian celebrities like talk show host Tawfik Okasha, composer Amr Mostafa, Salafist presidential candidate Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, and Mohamed ElBaradei, former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency and onetime presidential candidate, in his show. Bassem Youssef was also hosted by Jon Stewart on his show on the 21st of June, 2012.

The second Season of "Al Bernameg" premièred on Novemeber 23rd on a different channel called CBC. [4][2] Just three episodes into the show, several lawsuits have been filed against Bassem Youssef and his show, mainly for "insult and defamation". On the season's primiere, Bassem made the owner and coworkers of his channel the subject of his show, as an assurance that he is granted full freedom of expression; that no topic was off limits. [8][9] CBC did not, however air his second episode, which also featured further criticism of a TV show host who filed a lawsuit against Bassem. "The show" was resumed, however on its third episode.

Despite all controversy it sparks, Al Bernameg has been a major success. It is constantly topping the regional YouTube charts, making Bassem Youssef's YouTube channel the most subscribed to in Egypt.

On January 1, 2013, the daily Al-masry Al-youm reported that an Egyptian prosecutor was investigating Bassem Youssef on charges of maligning President Mohammed Morsi, whose office claimed that Youssef's show was “circulating false news likely to disturb public peace and public security and affect the administration.”[10]

Personal lifeModifica

Youssef lives in Cairo with his wife, Hala.[11] He works as a cardiothoracic surgeon when Al Bernameg is in hiatus. In his capacity as a doctor, he assisted wounded Tahrir Square protesters after the Battle of the Camel.[12] and he has a daughter named Nadia

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References Modifica

  1. Mai El-Wakil. «Drawing inspiration from the revolution», April 21, 2011. URL consultato in data September 28, 2011.
  2. 2,0 2,1 Willem Marx. «Bassem Youssef: Egypt's Jon Stewart», 29 March 2012.
  3. Abdalla Hassan. «Surgeon Using Parody to Dissect the News in Egypt», April 28, 2011. URL consultato in data September 28, 2011.
  4. 4,0 4,1 Heba Elkayal. «Comedy show du jour: Bassem Youssef's Al-Bernameg», September 7, 2011. URL consultato in data September 28, 2011.
  5. Farah Montasser. «Revolutionary Satire», September 2, 2011. URL consultato in data September 28, 2011.
  6. Ivan WatsonIvan Watson. «Syria Releases Egyptian-American Accused of Espionage», 1 April 2011.
  7. Interview with Mohamed Radwan, Syrian Revolution 2011, 31 July 2011.
  8. "Egyptian comedy show takes on 'merchants of religion'". AlArabiya. 8 December 2012. Retrieved 27 December 2012. 
  10. Host of Egyptian ‘Daily Show’ investigated after being accused of insulting President Morsi by Aya Batrawy, Associated Press (reprinted in the National Post), January 1, 2013.
  11. «Egypt’s "Daily Show"», March 28, 2011. URL consultato in data September 28, 2011.
  12. Montasser, Farah. "Revolutionary satire: Bassem Youssef speaks to Ahram Online". Ahram. Retrieved September 28, 2011. 

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