"The Jon Stewart of the Arabic World" - the creator of The Program, the most popular television show in Egypt's history - chronicles his transformation from heart surgeon to political satirist, and offers crucial insight into the Arab Spring, the Egyptian Revolution, and the turmoil roiling the modern Middle East.
Bassem Youssef's incendiary satirical news program, Al-Bernameg (The Program), chronicled the events of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, the fall of President Hosni Mubarak, and the rise of Mubarak's successor, Mohamed Morsi. Youssef not only captured his nation's dissent, but stamped it with his own brand of humorous political criticism, in which the Egyptian government became the prime laughing stock.
So potent were Youssef's skits, jokes, and commentary, the authoritarian government accused him of insulting the Egyptian presidency and Islam. After a six-hour long police interrogation, Youssef was released. While his case was eventually dismissed, his television show was terminated, and Youssef, fearful for his safety, fled his homeland.
In Revolution for Dummies, Youssef recounts his life and offers hysterical riffs on the hypocrisy, instability, and corruption that has long animated Egyptian politics. From the attempted cover-up of the violent clashes in Tahrir Square to the government's announcement that it had created the world's first "AIDS cure" machine, to the conviction of officials that Youssef was a CIA operative - recruited by Jon Stewart - to bring down the country through sarcasm. There's much more - and it's all insanely true.
Interweaving the dramatic and inspiring stories of the development of his popular television show and his rise as the most contentious funny-man in Egypt, Youssef's humorous, fast-paced takes on dictatorship, revolution, and the unforeseeable destiny of democracy in the modern Middle East offers much needed hope and more than a few healing laughs.
©2017 Bassem Youssef (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers
Every concept explained in A Dictator's Handbook comes to life in this book. As you read and compare what Bassem is saying to how power works, you'll see that it all adds up... And how satire, freedom of speech are so important. And how free will is such a cherished commodity enjoyed by the citizens of just a couple of nations around the globe.
I finally found my inner voice that'd had been silent for years. I grew up in Alexandria, Egypt as a young American/Egyptian and Yousef's book (really) finally tackles some of the issues my generation faced growing up. In particularly, with style and class. And more so, he does it in the most honest way: by telling us first hand of what was & is going on over there in plain and honest talk. I honestly, really appreciate the way he chose to narrate his book. It would've lost so much if he didn't use the occasional swear word to emphasize how messed up things have become. Of course, he's a brilliant satirist, which I hope, will open up many more possibilities to hear & see his work.
No other books that I know of have done something similar to this book, but you might compare it to work done by John Stewart & John Oliver.
Yes, I've followed Bassem's YouTube shows when they were broadcast in Egypt in Arabic. And it's almost like too perfect a coincidence, that he speaks English with such fluency. It's like he was made for this!
Maybe something like, "Are you awake yet?!" below a picture that represents the themes he's chose. I don't know, but I'd definitely keep with the sarcasm.
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