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Talking With The "Jon Stewart of the Arab World"

Dr. Bassem Youssef is an Egyptian cardiothoracic surgeon turned political satirist who launched a wildly popular political talk show on YouTube from his apartment in the wake of the Egyptian revolution. Youssef, dubbed the "Egyptian Jon Stewart", has gained a worldwide following on YouTube and is a voice for free expression around the Arab world. His show has more than 80 million views on YouTube and it continues to grow. Hear what he has to say about the evolving roles of comedy, satire, and entertainment in a post Arab Spring Middle East.


  1. What role is satire playing in the Middle East and specifically, what role did it play leading up to the Arab Spring?
  2. How are governments reacting to satire through digital technologies and what are satirists doing to protect themselves?
  3. As a satirist are there lines you will not cross in your videos and if so, what are those lines?
  4. With access to global platforms like YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, how is entertainment evolving in a post Arab Spring Egypt?
  5. What do you see as the future of political satire and comedy in Egypt?



Jessica Mason, Communications and Public Affairs, YouTube

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