The Joke Is Mightier than the Sword
Dubbed the Jon Stewart of the Arab World, Bassem Youssef was the creator and host of the wildly popular TV show Al-Bernameg—the first political satire show in the Middle East and the most watched program in the region from 2011-14 with 30 million viewers every week.
Throughout its three seasons Al-Bernameg remained controversial for its hilarious and bold criticism of the ruling powers. Accused of being “anti-Islam” and insulting the President, Youssef was arrested and interrogated before being released on bail. During its final season, the show achieved unprecedented ratings before Youssef announced its termination due to overwhelming political pressures on the show and the airing channel.
In The Joke Is Mightier than the Sword, Bassem shares his personal story and his thoughts on the political climate that led to the Arab Spring, its parallels to the current state of American politics and how propaganda lays the foundation for dictatorial regimes.
Bassem Youssef is my hero.