Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef, known as the “Jon Stewart of the Arab World,” will be making his D.C. debut performing at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on February 1.
Months after the Arab Spring uprising, Youssef, a surgeon-turned-satirist and political humorist, started a news comedy show in Egypt which soon became popular. The popular TV show AlBernameg was the first of its kind in the Middle East. But it has earned the wrath of Egyptian authorities which led to his arrest.
“Originally a 5-minute show on YouTube, AlBernameg became the first online to TV conversion in the Middle East and the most watched show across the region with 30 million viewers every week,” Youssef’s website says.
After three years, Youssef moved to LA where he launched a “Remade in America” podcast and also published a book “Revolution for Dummies.”
“Nationalism, religion, and identity politics are the same everywhere. It’s the way that it’s executed that’s different. I just make fun of [politicians]—that’s my only weapon. Whether that will eliminate nationalism, that’s not really my place. I just make fun of them and hope I don’t get into trouble,” said Youssef.
Youssef was named among Time Magazine’s most influential people in 2013. He received the International Press Freedom Award from the Committee to Protect Journalists. Foreign Policy magazine also chose him as one of the “Leading Global Thinkers.”
Tickets ranging from $39 to $99 can be purchased here.