Bassem Youssef, dubbed the Jon Stewart of the Arab World, was the host of the popular TV show Al-Bernameg which was the first of its kind, political satire show in the Middle East. Originally a 5-minute show on YouTube, Al-Bernameg became the first online to TV conversion in the Middle East and the most watched show across the region with 30 million viewers every week. Throughout its three seasons, Al-Bernameg remained controversial through its humorous yet bold criticism of the ruling powers, which led to tens of lawsuits being filed against the show and its host. Youssef was even issued an arrest warrant in March 2013 for being "anti-Islam" and for insulting the President. In recognition of his success, Youssef was named among the Time Magazine most influential list for 2013 - under the “Pioneers” category, was awarded the International Press Freedom Award by the CPJ, and was chosen by Foreign Policy magazine as one of the leading global thinkers during the same year.
Youssef’s most recent projects include Democracy Handbook; a ten-part series exploring topics of democracy on fusion.net, the launch of his new book, Revolution for Dummies: Laughing Through the Arab Spring in March 2017 and the release of Tickling Giants, a documentary film about Bassem Youssef directed by Sara Taksler, in April 2016.
A senior producer at The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Sara Taksler has pitched stories and jokes, and researched footage for over a decade. Taksler’s first film, Stop the Ignorance: The Beauty That Is New Jersey, was a tribute to her home state. Her latest documentary, Tickling Giants, had its world premiere at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival.
Film screening of Tickling Giants followed by discussion
with Bassem Youssef and Sara Taksler
Moderated by Sophia McClennen, Professor of Comparative Literature and International Affairs
Book signing and reception to follow
Nov 04, 2017
05:00 PM to 07:15 PM
Katz Auditorium, University Park