Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Middle Eastern Studies

Arabic Flagship Program Hosts Dr. Bassem Youssef

Wed, March 27, 2013
Arabic Flagship Program Hosts Dr. Bassem Youssef
Dr. Bassem Youssef with UT students

The Arabic Flagship Program hosted Dr. Bassem Youssef, the "Egyptian Jon Stewart," for an informal Q & A/meet and greet on Friday, March 8th, from 2 - 4 PM in the Student Activities Center Auditorium (SAC 1.402).  The event was mostly in Arabic and was an exciting way for Arabic students to remain engaged with their target language. 

Dr. Bassem Youssef is an Egyptian cardiothoracic surgeon turned political satirist who launched a wildly popular political talk show on YouTube from his apartment in the wake of the Egyptian revolution in 2011. Youssef, dubbed the “Egyptian Jon Stewart,” has gained a worldwide following on YouTube and is a voice for free expression around the Arab world. His show has more than 80 million views on YouTube and it continues to grow. He is the host of popular TV show Al Bernameg. In March 2011 and after 8 weeks of Mubarak stepping down from power, Bassem Youssef uploaded his B+ Show episode on YouTube. The B+ Show gained more than five million views in the first three months alone! Egyptian channel ONTV quickly offered Youssef a deal to create the satirical political show Al Bernameg with a budget of roughly half a million dollars to produce 104 episodes, making him the first internet to TV conversion in the Middle East. Bassem has more than 1.78 million followers on Twitter, and nearly 3.5 million fans on Facebook. His shows have more than 200 million combined views on YouTube alone. In June 2012, Jon Stewart invited Youssef to The Daily Show for an extended interview. 

"The event with Bassem Youssef was really, really wonderful. Honestly I was more excited to meet him than I would have been to meet John Stewart. Having lived in Egypt during the intense and sometimes very difficult period of the last few years, during which time Bassem Youssef's show was something like both lighting a candle and cursing the darkness at the same time, a much needed laugh and a much needed perspective. It meant a lot for me to get to hear him speak, and I think he had some really great insights to share about Egypt, about tolerance, mutual respect, freedom of belief and expression. It was awesome, in short!" said Kate Goodin, Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures graduate student.

The event was free and open to the public.

For more information, please contact Maggie Bell:, phone, 512-471-1724.


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