Egypt's Bassem Youssef included in Time's 100 most influential people

Ahram Online , Thursday 18 Apr 2013

Popular Egyptian TV satirist is chosen for Time magazine's '100 most influential people in the world' list for 2013, along with US President Barak Obama, North Korea's Kim Jong Un

Bassem Youssef
File photo: Egyptian satirist Bassam Youssef attends an interview with Reuters before a rehearsal for his comic show "El-Bernameg" (The Show), in Giza in this January 15, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)


Egyptian television satirist Bassem Youssef has been included in Time magazine's '100 most influential people in the world' for 2013, it was announced on Thursday. 

Every year, the prominent US news magazine draws its list of what it sees as the 100 most influential people in the world from among political leaders, artists and 'pioneers.' This year, the magazine chose Youssef for its pioneers category.

"I am honoured to be included on the Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world," said the Egyptian heart surgeon turned television host.

Youssef's personal entry on Time's official website was written by famous American television satirist Jon Stewart. 

"Bassem Youssef does my job in Egypt," Stewart wrote of his Egyptian counterpart. "The only real difference between him and me is that he performs his satire in a country still testing the limits of its hard-earned freedom, where those who speak out against the powerful still have much to fear."

Stewart added, "I am an American satirist, and Bassem Youssef is my hero."

This year's Time list also includes Pakistani student Malala Youssef, who was shot by Pakistani Taliban for supporting girls' education; US president Barak Obama; Turkish thinker Fethullah Gulan; Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan; and North Korea's supreme leader, Kim Jong Un.

Youssef will travel to New York to attend a gala party for those included on Time's list, along with celebrities from all over the world.

In March, Youssef was questioned by Egypt's prosecutor-general after he was accused of insulting the president and making blasphemous comments on his weekly show Al-Bernamig – on Egyptian television channel CBC.

The TV host, who began his career on YouTube, faces a barrage of complaints from conservatives and Islamists, who accuse him of insulting religion, disturbing the peace, insulting the president and blasphemy.  

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