A Conversation with Bassem Youssef

On Wednesday, September 21, 2016, the Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics hosted Egyptian comedian Bassem Youssef to celebrate the Lab’s integration into the School of Foreign Service. The event was co-hosted by the Culture and Politics Major and sponsored by the Doyle Program and the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs. Popularly known as the Jon Stewart of the Middle East, Youssef has become an icon of free speech for his humorous criticism of Middle Eastern politics. A former surgeon, Youssef developed a political satire show (Al Bernameg) that quickly became the most popular television show across the region before it was taken off the air. He has since come to the United States, where he offers his sharp critiques on American politics and culture as the host of Fusion’s Democracy Handbook with Bassem Youssef. Georgetown professors Cynthia Schneider and Derek Goldman, co-directors of the Lab, joined Youssef for a conversation on the role of comedy and satire in politics and international affairs. SFS Dean Joel Hellman also took part in the discussion, and Youssef answered questions from students in the audience. Youssef spoke about the power of comedy and performance as a way to convey a story and work for change. (Source: The Lab.)

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