Overthrowing Egypt’s political media

Connor White

On Feb. 11, 2011, Egypt commanded the attention of the entire world. After 18 days of demonstrations, President Hosni Mubarak relinquished his authority and was replaced by the first freely elected leader in Egyptian history, Mohammad Morsi.

Now, Morsi himself has been ousted by the Egyptian military, and the country is embroiled in fresh conflict.

Georgia Southern University will host a lecture on these events, particularly through the eyes of the Bassem Youssef, the host of Egyptian satirical news program Al Bernameg, who has been called “the Egyptian Jon Stewart.”

Stewart is a popular figure in television, catering to young adults through his program ‘The Daily Show’ and this comparison between Stewart and Youssef will offer students an easily accessible viewpoint into the Egyptian political system.

The panel plans to show attendees how Youssef’s program reflected the situation in Egypt and no prior knowledge will be necessary to enjoy and learn from the lecture, Ahmet Akturk, assistant professor of history at GSU, said.

“I think even those who are not interested in international politics would be curious to know what it is like to be the Egyptian Jon Stewart,” Akturk said. “And for those who are interested in Middle East politics and history, this lecture will show the complexity of deciding if a western-oriented military regime is really better than a popularly-elected Islamist president.”

Unprecedented in Egyptian television, Youssef’s ridicule of Morsi’s regime called for international scrutiny, under which his program was both praised and condemned.

“I am sure students who are currently taking ‘First Year Experience: Global Citizens’ and students who are interested in broader topics like media and politics or rumor and politics will find this lecture very valuable as well,” Akturk said.

“Jon Stewart, Yussef Bassem, & the Egyptian Revolution’s Last Laugh” will be held on Feb. 20 in the Russell Union Theater at 5:30 p.m., and will be presented by Dr. Joel Gordon, professor of history and director of the King Fahd Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies at the University of Arkansas.