Bassem Youssef "The John Stewart of Egypt" Egyptian satirist, Former surgeon, "Al Bernameg" host
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  • Arab Spring
  • Media
  • Middle East
  • Politics and Democracy
  • The Middle East
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ABOUT SPEAKER

Bassem Youssef is an Egyptian comedian and columnist and former cardiothoracic surgeon.

He graduated from the Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, where he also earned his PhD. In cardiothoracic surgery, and worked shortly as a professor. He traveled to the United States and Europe to work in the cardiac surgery and transplant technologies field, and earned his surgeon license in the United Stated in 2005, Bassem’s breakthrough in comedy was through his satirical show “The B+ Show,” that was inspired by the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, which he launched on Youtube to earn five million views in less than three months. He went on to sign with the Egyptian satellite channel ONTV, where he started hosting “Al Bernameg” (The Program), with a budget of half a million dollars. The show was then renewed for a second season on another channel, CBC, and the production studio was changed to Radio Theater in Cairo. The second season consisted of 29 episodes and has recorded one of the highest viewership ratings on both TV and internet with 40 million viewers on TV and more than 120 million combined views for his show on YouTube alone. Due to legal conflicts with the channel, Bassem’s contract with CBC was terminated after completing one season and three episodes. The third season of the show has aired on MBC MASR.

In 2013, Bassem was named one of the „100 most influential people in the world” by TIME magazine and one of Foreign Policy magazine 100 Leading Global Thinkers.

He was also awarded with the International Press Freedom Award of 2013 from the Committee to Protect Journalists and was announced the most searched figure in 2013 by Google. Al Bernameg was chosen by South by Southwest, one of the largest international interactive festivals, as the first and most successful internet to TV conversion story in the Middle East. Al Bernameg YouTube channel was the first channel in the MENA region to reach one million subscribers and was awarded the gold button trophy.

In January 2015, Harvard’s Institute of Politics (IOP), at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, announced that Youssef will be a Resident Fellow for the spring semester.


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