Bassem Youssef

Satirist,
Al-Bernameg

Born in 1974, Dr. Bassem Youssef is best known for his TV program Al Bernameg, The Program. Appalled by the performance of the Egyptian official media, he started his show eight weeks after the fall of Hosni Mubarak. It all started with one camera in his home, where he criticized the media for spreading fear, lies, and deceit during the revolution. With his superb sarcasm and political wit, this video instantly became a web sensation in Egypt. Nine episodes later, he was picked up by a major television network “ONTV.” His Program has now transformed to The Bassem Youssef Show aka The B+ Show, and is now aired on television two days a week. Modeled after The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, his program falls under a unique category of political satire – a category which was not established in this part of the Bassem Youssef, dubbed the Jon Stewart of the Arab World, was the host of popular TV show Al-Bernameg — which was the first of its kind political satire show in the Middle East region. Originally an online 5-minute show, Al-Bernameg became the most watched show in the history of Egyptian TV with an average of 40 million viewers every week, in addition to over 2 million subscribers on YouTube and 700 million views on his own channel and other channels.

In recognition of his success, Youssef was named among the Time Magazine most influential list for 2013 — under the “Pioneers” category. In June 2013, Youssef hosted Jon Stewart on Al-Bernameg in Cairo marking the season’s peak.

The show continued to gain tremendous success through its humorous yet bold criticism of the ruling regime and President Morsi, representing the Muslim Brotherhood. Soon after the show started airing, complaints were filed against Youssef, accusing him of insulting Islam, President Morsi and disrupting public order and peace. Eventually, Al-Bernameg team held a press conference where Youssef announced the termination of the show due to pressure on both the show and the airing channel.

Bassem Youssef is currently a spring fellow at the Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

Youssef majored in cardiothoracic surgery, passed the United States Medical License Exam (USMLE) and is a member of the Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS).