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Bassem Youssef cancels al-Bernameg show

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Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef’s show, al-Bernameg (The Program), has come to an end, its creator has announced.

Bassem Youssef said he was “tired of struggling” and worried about the safety of his family.

Al-Bernameg show came under pressure after poking fun at Egypt’s military establishment.

The show has been sued dozens of times since it began in the wake of ex-President Hosni Mubarak’s downfall in 2011.

Bassem Youssef, a former heart surgeon, told a news conference on Monday that the channel that carried the show had been pressured to drop it.

“The present climate in Egypt is not suitable for a political satire program,” he added.


Bassem Youssef’s al-Bernameg show came under pressure after poking fun at Egypt's military establishment

Bassem Youssef’s al-Bernameg show came under pressure after poking fun at Egypt’s military establishment

Bassem Youssef denied that he was capitulating to pressure, saying: “Stopping the program sends a much stronger message than if it continued.”

At its height, al-Bernameg was watched by an estimated 8 million viewers inside Egypt and many millions more abroad.

The show began as a series of amateur YouTube clips filmed in Bassem Youssef’s Cairo flat in the days following Egypt’s 2011 revolution.

Inspired by Jon Stewart’s Daily Show, Bassem Youssef went on to develop al-Bernameg, a satirical show filmed in front of a studio audience.

Its success made Bassem Youssef a household name throughout the Arab world and he was named as one of the world’s top 100 most influential people by Time Magazine in 2013.

However, al-Bernameg ‘s sharp satire repeatedly angered the authorities, who tried to close it down.

Under the presidency of Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi, Bassem Youssef faced charges of insulting Islam.

The charges were later thrown out of court, shortly after which Mohamed Morsi was too thrown out of office by Egypt’s military.

In November the private Egyptian CBC channel refused to broadcast one episode because it had “violated editorial policy”.

The decision came days after Bassem Youssef had lampooned the then head of the army, General Abdul-Fattah al-Sisi, over chocolates that bore his name.

In February, prosecutors filed fresh complaints, accusing Bassem Youssef of insulting the armed forces, the will of the Egyptian people and the “symbols” of Egypt.

Al-Bernameg had been on temporary hiatus during Egypt’s presidential election, which Abdul-Fattah al-Sisi won by an overwhelming margin.

Before its cancellation, the show had been due to return later this week.

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Sonia is the heart and the artist of the team. She loves art and all that it implies. As Sonia says, good music, a well directed movie, or attending a music or film festival melts people’s heart and make them better. She is great at painting and photography. Working on scrapbooks is her favorite activity.