Now living in the US, the satirist is one of the best-known critical voices from the Arab world. On Tuesday, June 14, Bassem Youssef will attend the Global Media Forum in Bonn and give away one of “The Bobs Awards”.
For three years, Bassem Youssef’s extraordinarily popular political satire show could be seen on televisions across Egypt – until it was abruptly pulled off air at the end of 2013. A few weeks later, the series was added to the Arabic programming schedule of Deutsche Welle. However, Youssef threw in the towel a few months later out of fear for his safety.
Youssef will come to the Global Media Forum in Bonn to recognize the work of online activists from Bangladesh and India, Iran and Germany. For the twelfth time The Bobs will be awarded by Deutsche Welle as part of a competition to find the best international projects and online activists.
“Satire was our weapon to uncover the lies and phrases that were being used to control the people in Egypt,” says Youssef about his former TV show. The trained heart surgeon and political satirist launched his satirical weekly news-in-review show in 2011, capturing an audience of over one million people in Northern Africa week after week.
Deutsche Welle bought rights to the 45-minute show at the beginning of 2014 and broadcast it via the Arabic channel of MBC Egypt. DW Director General Peter Limbourg recognized the move as “a clear sign for the freedom of speech and the press and for journalistic bravery.”