Egypt and Political Satire

Laughter has begun the toppling of many regimes – when you try to stifle it, it turns to anger and… Do you job – get things done – no laughs, no anger


Will political satire survive in Egypt? Since January 2011, satirist Bassem Youssef has become Egypt’s most popular comedian. He has poked fun at nearly every one of Egypt’s political elite, and his merciless, biting jokes about ex-president Morsi’s poor performance and bad English have earned him million of fans – and many enemies. Last April, he was briefly arrested for “insulting the president, denigrating Islam and disturbing the peace,” a move that created a global outcry, and even a tense Twitter exchange between the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and the Egyptian presidency.

 Now Mr. Youssef is back after a four-month hiatus, and in his show last Friday he poked “equal fun” at the nationwide fan frenzy that has grown around Egypt’s Defense Minister, General Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, in recent months. Mr. Youssef imitated the general’s soft- spoken words and alluded to his rumored political ambition. It did not take long…

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