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Bassem Youssef: Why we should laugh at leaders | The Economist

Bassem Youssef has been called “the Jon Stewart of the Middle East”. On the seventh anniversary of Egypt’s Arab Spring he talks to The Economist’s award-winning cartoonist, KAL, about political satire and what it means for democracy.

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Dr Bassem Yousef is a television comedian. He used satirical comedy to hold the authorities to account during the Egyptian revolution. Dr Bassem Yousef was a symbol of the promise of the Arab spring and of its ultimate failure. When demonstrations became in 2011, Dr Yousef quit his job as a heart surgeon to start a comedy show on YouTube.

Bassem Youssef’s wit and satire poked fun at the hypocrisy of the state run media which tried to discredit the protests. And it quickly became a smash hit. Bassem Youssef was one man standing against the regime with no weapons but his jokes and it soon made him an enemy of the state.

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