• Sharjah

  • Monday, November 13, 2023 at 6:34 AM
    Last Update : Tuesday, November 14, 2023 at 12:16 PM

Bassem Youssef to AWP: One Comic Show Would Not Change All Opinions About Gaza

(AWP) - Renowned satirical political comedy show host said his interview on a British TV broadcast about the war in Gaza last month was like shooting a penalty kick at the World Cup final, but stressed that one interview could not alter the convictions of many people regarding the conflict.

Youssef, an Egyptian surgeon-turned-announcer in his country, which witnessed mass protests against the former president Hosni Mubarak, ending in his ouster in 2011, said he had received warnings not to appear on air with British media figure Piers Morgan a few days after the conflict erupted in Gaza on October 7.

“Even my business manager warned me this could be a professional suicide,” Youssef said, addressing a large audience in a dialogue session in Expo Center Sharjah, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Friday evening.

Youssef was known for presenting highly-sarcastic TV shows in the aftermath of Mubarak’s ouster. He faced hard times due to his criticism of the former Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi, who remained in power for only one year before he was ousted in other protests. Youssef had to leave his country for good.

The popular show host is now giving political comedy events in different parts of the world. He said in a second interview with Morgan two weeks later that he has recently obtained U.S. nationality.

Bassem’s first interview with Morgan, over satellite, has achieved a record viewing as he used his comic abilities to offer his vision of the crisis.

Morgan received him in a session in Los Angeles, California, where Morgan said the way Youssef used in the first interview has awed him and left him speechless.

In Sharjah on Friday, Youssef said he resorted to this style in order to send the message in the way understood by the West, but said one interview can never change the opinions of many.

“I thought it would not do me any good if I addressed the people like those screamers. So, I thought I should make it funny, in a way. Everything they would say I would reply more. If they said they would kill five, I would say we kill 20, like that. I was careless, to say the truth,” he said.

“The way has made enormous reactions in Morgan’s show viewing and the comments conveyed many opinions of viewers in the West who seemed to have been discovering the issue for the first time ever,” he Youssef said in statements to the Arab World Press (AWP) after the end of the dialogue session in Sharjah.

“I can never say that just one interview could change reality. I believe I managed to do one very small role. Others have done even more than I did. They have been speaking about the issue for quite so long. It is only that I was just lucky that my TV show appearance made millions of views. I am quite grateful for that, but I cannot say one person could change the ideas of many people. I was just aided very much by the circumstances."

Youssef also spoke about his new book, Nadia, which he described as his own “personal journey as an immigrant with children.”

“That was the only way for me to disseminate my thoughts in a different means of media, the book that addressed a different type of audience – children. I really enjoyed it,” he noted.