He’s a physician turned comedian, but the strength of his satire proves that he is just as talented with script as he is with a scapula. Dr. Bassem Youssef was named to TIME Magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world and one of Foreign Policy Magazine’s 100 leading global leaders in 2013. His clout is recognized globally, and he has been compared to American comedian John Stewart, whose satirical news program The Daily Show, served as a blueprint for Youssef’s political satire show, Al-Bernameg.
Youssef was born in Egypt, and attended Cairo University’s Faculty of Medicine where he graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) in Cardiothoracic Surgery, and is permitted to practice medicine in the United States and the United Kingdom.
The concept behind Al-Bernameg was a compilation of YouTube videos (The B+ Show) where Youssef and his colleagues provided commentary on current political events in Egypt and the state media’s portrayal of events, shortly following the eighteen day protests of the January 25th revolution in the country. Within a relatively short period of time, the channel received millions of viewers and prompted Egypt’s channel ONTV to offer Youssef his own weekly political satire show. While the widely successful show met its own share of controversy, its YouTube channel was the first channel in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to reach one million subscribers and was awarded the gold button trophy. In 2014, Youssef announced the end of the show following increasing pressure from Egypt’s military establishment.
While he will forever remain a household name, he continues to lend his surgical skills. Youssef received training in cardiac and lung transplantation in Germany, and worked for a company in the United States that develops cardiothoracic surgery medical equipment. While on hiatus from Al-Bernameg in 2013, he worked as a cardiothoracic surgeon, and also assisted wounded Tahrir Square protesters after the Battle of the Camel in 2010.