Political Satirist and Host, "AlBernameg"
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…
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 1.2 billion views on his own channel and other channels.
It all started in 2011 when Bassem, who was a heart surgeon ready to leave to Cleveland, started a 5-minute show on YouTube satirizing the state run media which was spreading lies and conspiracy theories in the wake of the Arab Spring. That developed fast into a full-blown TV show with millions of followers.
Al-Bernameg received wide acclaim around the world with coverage in some of the biggest media outlets, topping it off with Bassem’s appearance on the Daily Show with his idol Jon Stewart. Not once but four times. Stewart also made the trip to Cairo to support his prodigy and was a guest of his show.
Bassem was popular with the people but not so much with the different regimes. Under the Muslim Brotherhood regime, a warrant for his arrest was issued and Bassem went through a 6 hours interrogation after which he was released on bail. Bassem continued to poke fun of the people in power and he didn’t stop even after the popular military took over, costing him to be cancelled twice and pushed to terminate his show. Harassments and threats continued, pushing Bassem to flee to the United States where he now lives in Los Angeles.
Bassem is now reinventing his career as a satirist comedian and a story teller, but in a different country and a different language that is not his own. When he is not touring around doing his live performances he is hosting his podcast “Remade in America” or working online changing people’s eating habits through a plant based whole food diet. Bassem wrote the bestselling book “Revolution for Dummies” and is the subject of the critically acclaimed documentary “Tickling Giants.”
In recognition of his success, Bassem was named among Time Magazine’s most influential list for 2013. In November 2013, he was named one of four recipients by the Committee to Protect Journalists for the International Press Freedom Award. In February 2015, Bassem was a spring fellow at the Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. In November 2015, Bassem hosted the International Emmy Awards in New York as the first non-American, non-European personality to ever host such an event.
Ernie was perfect for our Elders Conference at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, Michigan. We will definitely be using PDA again!
LITTLE RIVER BAND OF OTTAWA INDIANS
Our speaker was great and the crowd enjoyed her! She was very engaging. Thank you again PDA for the great list of suggestions!
Everything went great! and our speaker was wonderful! Thank you so much for all your help PDA! Looking forward to the next one.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI – KANSAS CITY
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BAYLOR UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
We had a fantastic day with Inge! She was very engaging with all those that attended. Her personal stories about the holocaust were very special and we were moved that she was willing to share them with everyone. Thank you again, PDA for all your hard work and dedication to make this program such a success!
SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Dear PDA Group, Thank you so much for your hard work in scheduling our speaker! From the moment we reached out to you the first time, you worked with us on all details and logistics and kept us up-to-date on the progress. Thank you for all your hard work on making our event such a success! We couldn't have done it without you and your team!
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The event was successful! I received many messages expressing how awesome, outstanding and inspiring Ms. Webb-Christburg's speech was."
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. MEMORIAL BREAKFAST, BOSTON, MLK SPEAKER
Everything went well. Atsuko was very easy to work with and the students enjoyed her performance! Thank you again for your recommendation and I hope to work with you again in the future!
CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Dr. Novello left this morning after a very successful event on our campus! Thank you PDA Group for your help from the first phone to the last you were with us every step of the way.
GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
Jordan Carlos was very very entertaining! A majority of students who answered the event survey indicated they really enjoyed Jordan and definitely will bring him back!
WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
On behalf of myself and my organization Entertainment Unlimited the Campus Programming Board of Ferris State University, we thank you PDA and Dan for a successful event!! Dan was magnificent! Students really enjoyed the presentation. I know I did. Can't wait to bring in more programs with PDA Group.
FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY
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WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Thank you, Peter, for all your help, you'll be happy to know that the event went incredibly well! Aneesa Ferreira was by far one of the best speakers we've ever had!
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