Bassem Youssef, the Egyptian doctor-turned-TV-host who is known as “The Jon Stewart of the Arab World,” will no longer present his satirical news program, Al Bernameg. At a press conference in Cairo on Monday, Youssef said the show had been cancelled due to pressure on its broadcaster, MBC Masr. “The present climate in Egypt is not suitable for a political satire program… I’m tired of struggling and worrying about my safety and that of my family,” he said according to reports. A daring public voice and equal-opportunity offender who used comedy to poke fun at the government and state of affairs in Egypt, Youssef’s cancellation will be seen in many circles as a blow to freedom of speech in the region. At the top of last night’s Daily Show, Stewart addressed the turn of events surrounding his friend in a segment titled “A Farewell to Egyptian Satire.” In the clip (see video below), Stewart said in part, “Bassem Youssef and his team did a tremendous show under harrowing conditions, and while they’re not on the air for now, their work will continue to inspire us all here at this show. Congratulations to them on a job very well done.”
Youssef first made international headlines in April 2013 when he was summoned for questioning by Egypt’s public prosecutor after an arrest warrant was issued on accusations he insulted then Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and … Read More »
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Jon Stewart, on hiatus from The Daily Show to shoot his feature directorial debut, Rosewater, popped in on his doppelganger Bassem Youssef in Cairo on Friday. Youssef hosts The Program (Al-Bernameg), a satirical news show that resembles Stewart’s own Comedy Central series; he’s also known as “The Jon Stewart of the Arab World.” In April, an arrest warrant was issued for Youssef on accusations he insulted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and the Islamic faith. Stewart in turn defended Youssef on The Daily Show and Youssef later paid a visit to the set. Last night, Stewart returned the favor, appearing on The Program. He was brought in as a purported foreign spy in a black hood. When he was revealed, Stewart spoke in Arabic to the excited audience, saying there was no need to fuss. “I am a simple man.” He addressed the issue of satire, discussed taxi drivers and local food with Youssef, and then “took over” the show. The full episode is available at Al-Bernameg’s YouTube channel. Here’s a brief clip courtesy of Reuters:
Often referred to as the “Jon Stewart of the Arab World,” Bassem Youssef made his second appearance on the original Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show last night. Youssef is facing investigations into accusations that he insulted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and the Islamic faith on his satirical news show The Program. Youssef was arrested earlier this month but was invited to the Time 100 gala earlier this week. In speaking with his doppelganer, he didin’t seem too perturbed by the persecution in his own country:
The “Jon Stewart of the Arab World” still faces a criminal investigation into accusations that he insulted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and the Islamic faith on his satirical news show The Program. But an Egyptian court today rejected a separate petition brought by Islamist lawyer Mahmoud Abu el-Aineen to ban Bassem Youssef‘s show and shut down broadcasting network CBC, Reuters reports. Youssef was arrested last week and released on bail on Sunday.
U.S. Embassy In Cairo In Twitter Trouble Over ‘Daily Show’ Link The U.S. Embassy in Cairo temporarily shut down its Twitter feed on Wednesday, deleting a missive it had sent linking to video of The Daily Show in which Jon Stewart defended Egyptian TV host Bassem Youssef. Youssef, aka “The Jon Stewart of the Arab World,” was called in for questioning by the public prosecutor over the weekend to face allegations of insulting Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi. The embassy tweeted a link to the video, but when Egyptian authorities said it was “inappropriate for a diplomatic mission to engage in such negative political propaganda,” the entire account was deleted then restored sans the offending link, The Associated Press reported. U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland scolded the embassy as well: “Embassies and consulates and their senior leadership manage the content that is on their feeds and they are expected to use good policy judgment in doing that. Earlier this week, Nuland said the warrant for Youssef’s arrest was “evidence of a disturbing trend of growing restrictions on the freedom of expression.” Egypt’s Freedom and Justice Party then condemned her “imprudent” remarks.Read More »
The plight of Bassem Youssef, the Egyptian TV host known as “The Jon Stewart of the Arab World”, has become something of a political hot potato between the U.S. and Egypt. Youssef was called in for questioning over the weekend on accusations that he had insulted President Mohamed Morsi and the Islamic faith, leading U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland to comment that the warrant for Youssef’s arrest was “evidence of a disturbing trend of growing restrictions on the freedom of expression.” Egypt’s Freedom and Justice Party has condemned her “imprudent” remarks, which it says “constitute a hasty, blatant interference in Egypt’s internal affairs.” Three lawsuits have been brought against Youssef for content of his Daily Show-like satirical news magazine The Program, and a further accusation of disturbing the public order was brought on Monday. The Program is watched by about 30M Middle East viewers on satellite channel CBC, which has also been warned that because of the show, it may be in violation of the terms of its license. Youssef told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that he and Stewart had been corresponding since the weekend’s events — Stewart defended his friend on The Daily Show on Monday night. Read More »
The Daily Show host managed to work a couple of NBC-Jay Leno jokes into his segment last night defending Bassem Youssef, who’s known as “The Jon Stewart of the Arab World”. Youssef was summoned for questioning by Egypt’s public prosecutor over the weekend after an arrest warrant was issued on accusations he insulted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and the Islamic faith. (Ah, the old comparing NBC to a repressive Egyptian government gag — it works every time.) A former heart surgeon who is also a practicing Muslim, Youssef rose to popularity with satirical videos he posted on YouTube during the Arab Spring, and more recently via his Daily Show-esque satellite TV show, The Program, which is watched by a reported 30 million viewers across the Middle East. He’s been on Stewart’s show before, so they’re pals.
Bassem Youssef appeared on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart last June and was at SXSW last month to discuss the evolving roles of comedy, satire and entertainment in the Middle East. Over the weekend, the man known as “The Jon Stewart of the Arab World” was summoned for questioning by Egypt’s public prosecutor after an arrest warrant was issued on accusations of insulting Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and the Islamic faith. Youssef appeared in court Sunday where he posted $2,200 bail on three lawsuits filed against him, according to CNN. He wrote on Twitter that there was a fourth pending, but that no date had been given for an investigation. Youssef has been sued before, but this is the first time the prosecutor has followed up with legal action. He joked with Stewart last June about receiving death threats over his show.
A former heart surgeon who is also a practicing Muslim, Youssef rose to popularity with satirical videos he posted on YouTube during the Arab Spring. He segued to satellite TV where his Daily Show-like news mag, The Program, is watched by a reported 30M viewers across the Middle East. Per the BBC, sketches in which Youssef put Morsi’s image on a pillow and separately portrayed him as a pharaoh dubbed “Super Morsi,” so angered one Islamist lawyer that it resulted in a formal complaint leading to the warrant this weekend. Read More »