Aswat Masriya (Cairo)

Egypt Satirist Makes Time's List of 100 Most Influential People

Photo: Gigi Ibrahim/Flickr
Graffiti of Dr. Bassem Youssef.

Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef has made it to Time Magazine's list of 100 most influential people in the world for the year 2013.

The 39-year-old heart surgeon turned television host made news last month when the country's chief prosecutor ordered his arrest on charges of insulting religion, undermining the president's standing and disrupting public peace.

Youssef, who hosts the weekly show "Al-Bernameg" (The Programme), became popular at the wake of the 2011 uprising when he appeared in YouTube videos that mocked the authorities and the events that the country was facing.

His weekly show, that airs on Friday on a satellite channel, is known for heavily criticizing the government of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi.

After being questioned and released on L.E. 15,000 bail, the international community criticized the Egyptian government for his arrest, questioning press freedom and personal rights in post-revolution Egypt.

American satirist and television host of the Daily Show, Jon Stewart, who Youssef had admitted to have been inspired by, wrote, "Bassem Youssef does my job in Egypt. The only real difference between him and me is that he performs his satire in a country still testing the limits of its hard-earned freedom, where those who speak out against the powerful still have much to fear."

Stewart had dedicated a segment of his show to Youssef upon his arrest, which was then shared by the official Twitter account of the U.S. mission in Egypt leading to its shutting down.

"Even under these difficult circumstances, he manages to produce an incredible show: a hilarious blend of mimicry, confusion, outrage and bemusement, highlighting the absurdities and hypocrisies of his country's rebirth," Stewart told Time Magazine.

"I am an American satirist, and Bassem Youssef is my hero."

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2013 Aswat Masriya. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.

InFocus

Egypt's Satirist Accused of 'Insulting Country'

Bassem Youssef

Popular satirist Bassem Youssef who regularly pokes fun at the country's leaders on his show, has been reported to the state prosecutor for "insulting Egypt and distorting its ... Read more »