Media Type:

TV Shows


Al Bernameg - Season 1, Episode 2


Satirical news show


Following the success of his satirical YouTube show B+, Bassem Youssef was offered a weekly show with TV network ONTV. Youssef's show came to be one of the most watched TV shows in the Arab world. He was forced off air and forced to flee the country after the July 2013 military coup.
This episode is the first substantive discussion of the Egyptian revolution. It features: Neguib Sawiris (owner of ONTV) and a spokesperson from the Wasat Party.
Further episodes from this season available on YouTube.


Bassem Youssef


Al Bernameg Youtube

Date Published



Standard Youtube License




YouTube clip

Date Created



Bassem Youssef, “Al Bernameg - Season 1, Episode 2,” Politics, Popular Culture and the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, accessed April 17, 2024,

Output Formats


Al Bernameg.jpg


Text: “This show does not represent the views of the channel, nor of its presenter and developers. It deals with political and social developments in a comedic, satirical manner.
Egyptians have long-practiced satire and humour towards everything, be it events around them or directed at themselves, but they have never directly engaged with their Pharoahs.
It is time that we free ourselves from red lines and practice our freedom to directly satrise in an innovative way.”
Voice-over: “And now, The Show with Bassem Youssef!”
Bassem Youssef (BY): “Hello and welcome to first episode of the show, which is called…The Show…that’s the name of the show…The Show…to be honest, we couldn’t think of a better name…or a worse one...
My name is Bassem Youssef and I’m neither a presenter nor a journalist. I’m simply a viewer who got the chance to sit in front of the camera. The whole thing started on the internet and an empty room in the house…
The day the whole of Egypt has been waiting for has arrived!
Woman with broken Arabic accent: “Egypt is on the verge of making a historic decision. This decision is on the constitution itself”.
BY: “Apparently they let anyone make a TV show these days…and they’ve got a guy with a lisp! I don’t know what these people’s qualifications are to have a TV show really…
Anyway, it was decided that I would be a media personality and have my Ramadan show. This meant leaving the enviornment of the spare room and into the studio. Of course, this meant doing some proper décor.
Anyway, the idea of the show is that it is a political show. But not really. You could say it is satirical, but not really satirical. Or you can just wait and see.
Yousri Fouda: “Down down with the head of state”
Gaber El-Qarmouty: “Mubarak will never be Ben Ali”
BY: “Erm…to be honest, I don’t know what’s going on. These days, anyone can be on television. Anyway, this is our first episodse and just like we were connecting with people on the internet, we will continue to do this on TV. We’re using YouTube Direct, which is the first time it will be used in Egypt. If I say something you like, or you don’t like, if you want to thank us or destroy us, criticise the show, have your say! Just as we have the right, or have given ourselves the right, to criticise people, go and criticise the show however you wish to. Upload your response video to our website…You can upload your video on the website even if you don’t have a YouTube channel of your own. You are very welcome on our website. And let me give you an idea of what the response video could be like…
Male actor 1: “Is the camera running?”
Female actor 1: “Bassem Youssef…?”
Male actor 2: “Look, he’s trying to be Jon Stewart but he’s not able to”
Female actor 1: “He’s good.”
Male actor 3: “It’s a great show, but…”
Female actor 2: “It’s a funny show”
Female actor 3: “He’s so cute!”
Male actor 4: “…..”
Male actor 3: “I’ve got a file on you!”
Male actor 5: “I don’t know where they get these people from, what rubbish!”
Male actor 1: “Let me know when the camera is rolling so I can start talking”
Female actor 4: “I saw a couple of his episodes on YouTube”
Female actor 1: “But he’s very silly. Especially his lisp”
Male actor 1: “You know how Magdy El-Gallad [TV presenter] always sits with his watch showing like this?”
Male actor 6: “A show called The Show?”
Male actor 7: “Bassem Youssef, Hena Maysara, Khiyana Mashroua [films directed by Khaled Youssef]…the guy’s a genius!”
Male actor 2: “Say no to Bassem Youssef”
Female actor 5: “Say no to Bassem Youssef”
Female actor 6: “Say no to Bassem Youssef”
Female actor 3: “I can’t say no to Bassem Youssef”
Male actor 7: “Say no to Khaled Youssef”
Female actor 7: “Oh Bassem Youssef, whatever!”
BY: “Say no”
“No” “No” “No” “No” ….
BY: “Now that we’ve heard these wonderful views on the show, we’ll cut to a break so we can start…The Show”
“Hello again to the Show. I’m Dr. Bassem Youssef, the only presenter in the Arab World with a lisp.
Speaking of the Arab World, some of the things happening in the region, reminds me of Psychology. How do you deal with sadness? You deal with it in 5 stages. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
For example, denial: this isn’t happening to me!
Anger: How is this happening to me!
Bargaining: How can I benefit from what is happening to me?
Depression: Is this really happening to me?
Acceptance: Well, what are you gonna do? What will be will be.
And the same principles apply to the Arab Revolutions. Stage one, denial:”
Qaddafi: “Who are you?!”
BY: “Stage two: anger”
Scenes from Bahrain
BY: “Stage three: bargaining”
Ali Abdullah Saleh: “No extensions, no bequeathing, no new pages”
BY: “Stage four: depression”
Hosni Mubarak: “And what I hear today from some of the sons of my country saddens me”
BY: “It saddens me as well, to be honest. Stage five: acceptance”
Ben Ali: “I have understood you, I have understood everyone. The situation calls for a change, a deep change”
BY: “We were lucky that in Egypt we went through those five stages in 18 days. But others, are still at the stage of denial. What is happening in Syria now where hundreds of thousands of people taking to the streets is not a sudden thing. This episode is part one of the Syrian media’s achievements. It’s no surprise that Syrian TV shows have improved, because if you have this media, there must be very high drama. It all started a few months ago…”
Reporter 1 : “A group of Syrian citizens took to the street calling for freedom, an end to corruption and an end to emergency law….”
2: “Several locations across the country have witnessed anti-regime protests and calling for democracy…”
3: “Crowds of protesters took to the street calling for freedom and for the first time, the fall of the regime…”
4: “The crowds have been increasing week after week…”
BY: “Of course, for the Syrian state media ‘protesters’, ‘revolutionaries’ and ‘those calling for democracy’ take on some very different names…”
Syrian TV reporter 1: “We will not be cowed by conspiracy or the manufactured crises…”
2: “And here the vandals began agitating people and encouraging them to break the rule of law…”
3: “...and launched a cyber hack led by experts in the Syrian Army against the terrorists…”
Voice off screen: “I have a notice for the Syrian and Arab viewers, there are fellow Arabs taking part in this conspiracy to destroy the unity of Syria…”
BY: “To be honest, there’s not much new: ‘infiltrated elements’, ‘vandals’, ‘traitors’. This is the kind of denial we’re used to. But then there’s a whole other level of denial…”
Reporter: “We don’t know where these images are from, some say they could be taking place outside of Syria…”
BY: “What’s happening isn’t in Syria in the first place! You’re imagining it all. And by the way, Syria doesn’t exist. As for the tactics of the media that we’ve gotten used to, and that we’ve seen in over 50 films before, the trick was to simply keep on using them so that no one could expect it. Because out of all the ‘foreign hands’ involved, there was always one hand in particular that was pushing all the Arab revolutions…”
Reporter: “The price Syria pays for saying ‘no’ in the face of those searching for a home in the region, all of whom are led by one main plan, which is to attack Syria. Mossad documents to outlining plans to establish an internal base for itself have defined the word ‘infiltrator’, which has been connected to the recent events Syria has witnessed…”
BY: “Just as I said, we’ve seen this movie before. Of course, it’s the Mossad, because a revolution could never take place in the Arab world without the Mossad’s prior permission. But I wonder where these documents are from?”
Reporter: “The Dunia TV has been able to gain access to an external storage unit, known colloquially as a Flash drive…’
BY: “A Flash drive?”
Reporter: “A flash drive.”
BY: “Wait, wait. You’ll find on it documents proving that they were working with the Mossad, and documents written in Hebrew, right?”
Reporter: “…belonging to one of those arrested for attempting to sow chaos in Syria. They contain secret documents intended to be sent to satellite television channels.”
BY: “And to be sure of these documents’ accuracy, we have a phone call from one of the senior figures…of the Israeli Mossad…hello, good evening”
‘Mossad figure’ (MF): “Good evening, Dr. Bassem”
BY: “Senior figure, would you mind lowering your TV volume?”
MF: “There is no TV at all”
BY: “Oh you…alright alright…could you explain to us the situation where you are?”
MF: “We’re all over the place, Dr. Bassem, we’re all over the place.”
BY: “Sir, you’ve seen the documents with us. What is the accuracy of the stamp on these ‘secret’ documents that are available everywhere and that is that the Mossad stamp?”
MF: “I’ll tell you something Dr. Bassem. I could go to work tomorrow and find myself [mumbling]”
BY: “I’m sorry, you’ll find yourself what sir?”
MF: “Fired because of this”
BY: “Oh I see. Go on, go on”
MF: “Unfortunately, Dr. Bassem, we discovered the official Mossad stamp has been stolen from the office desk. This could explain all the documents that keep appearing everywhere”
BY: “Erm…so the Mossad stamper is stolen. OK, what do you make of all the spies that keep getting arrested very easily in Syria?”
MF: “[chuckling] Dr. Bassem, let them have fun.”
BY: “Let them have fun...yeah…thank you for the clarification.
Of course, we can’t attribute every problem to outside hands. It could be a simple disagreement over numbers. For example, those who protested, were they ‘thousands’, or ‘tens’ or was no protest at all?”
Reporter: “We found that there is a group of worshippers that left the Hassan Mosque and chanted ‘God is great’ and chanted for Syria and for freedom. They were numbered in the tens.”
BY: “But erm…they look a little bit more than ‘tens’”
Reporter: “But Al-Jazeera continued to describe the protest as ‘massive’ to imply that there were crowds and crowds and crowds of people in the square”
BY: “Yes, it does indeed look like ‘tens’ of people. Crowds and crowds and crowds of people. But never mind the number of protesters, let’s find out the reasons why people took to protesting in the first place”
Reporter: “During this [the protest], heavy rains fell and the crowds disbanded. And as is the custom of Levantine people during rainfall, they thanked God for the good coming from the skies”
BY: “Of course, this is a well-known practice amongst Levantine people, because the Levant is a desert and they never get any rain…we always hear in the news that when it rains, they take to the streets. But still, I don’t see where the problem is?”
Reporter: “And it seems the professionalism that the geniuses of the conspiring media of today wants is to deny the fall of rain and to insist, along with Al-Jazeera, that the protest was ‘massive’”
BY: “Why does the word ‘massive’ upset people so much?”
Singing voices: “MASSIVE!”
Reporter: “It’s true, some journalists simply not professional”
BY: “Fierce…but more importantly than ‘massive’ is the identity of those taking part in the revolutions because, as we know, people don’t just revolt on their own accord”
Reporter: “Syrian opposition figures, inside and outside the country, those calling for the downfall of the regime, Arab figures and states working to provide an Arab cover to the opposition, religious clerics from different faiths, Kurds, the Muslim Brotherhood…”
BY: “Mossad, religious clerics, opposition, there’s still one very important element that’s missing…”
Reporter: “Fanatical Salafist groups…”
BY: “Yes! Salafists! Now it’s complete! No wait, there’s still one element missing. No one has mentioned them yet”
[Hezbollah song plays]
BY: “That’s more like! Now the conspiracy is complete. Salafists, Muslim Brotherhood, Mossad, Hezbollah. This is a real revolution”
Hassan Nasrallah: “I express my thanks to Assad’s Syria! To Hafez al-Assad’s Syria! To Bashar al-Assad’s Syria!”
BY: “You stopped at Bashar? Why Sheikh Hassan? That’s not good. Clearly, everyone has sold out the Syrian people. Clearly, the Syrian media is still in the stage of denial. And clearly, the Syrian people only have their anger. And despite the Syrian regime’s attempts at bargaining, this does not mean we should be satisfied with depression because this will mean we accept the slaughters that are happening there every day”
Man on screen: “Killing them is a must and a duty and fighting them is more worthy than fighting the Israeli enemy”
Voice off screen: “Where is the human consciousness? Where are you, Arab League? Where are you, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation? Where are you, Muslims?”
Burhan Ghalioun: “The regime has lost its mind, they have no longer any consideration for politics or reason, the way they are treating people goes beyond any conceptions of humanity, reason and politics”
Woman on screen: “[inaudible] we have left our homes….”
Protesters: [recite Abu al-Qasim al-Shabi’s poem] If, one day, a people desires to live, then fate will answer their call”
Voice off-screen: “The revolution has begun […] what are you waiting for? You are the giant, so revolt! This is a golden chance for Syria to regain her independence. This is our chance to regain our glory”
Protester: “Freedom is written in blood! In blood!”
[Chanting]: “The people want the fall of the regime!”
Text: “The Syrian Revolution…triumph of the will”
BY: “I know that we’re busy with our own situation these days. But let’s not let this distract us from what’s going on in Syria. There are people dying every day over there. And as The Show, this won’t be the last episode on Syria. Today we showed things that happened in the past, but we’ll continue and will show things that are still happening in Syria until today, until God willing when Syria is free, and our siblings in Syria are free as we are”
BY: “Welcome back to The Show. Before the break, we discussed the vile conspiracies being committed against Syria. Unfortunately, behind these conspiracies there are spies and agents. One of these spies, I’m sorry to say, was Egyptian…”
Interviewer: “Why was it you who sent the pictures? Why you in particular?”
Interviewee: “Maybe because I am inside the country so…I have a camera…maybe he thought he could take advantage of this opportunity”
Interviewer: “How much were they paying you in exchange for these pictures?”
Interviewee: “Around 100 Egyptian Pounds per picture. I didn’t ask about the videos. I had videos but I didn’t ask. I’m sure the video would cost more”
BY: “I’m sorry to say it, but he would sell the picture for 100 Pounds. Why did he do this? And why was he so cheap? We have the spy himself, Mr. Mohamed Radwan, an engineer in fact. Welcome”
Mohamed Radwan (MR): “Hello”
BY: “How are you? I want you to tell me exactly and to confess, what did you do in Syria, and if you need any help, I have interrogation methods. I mean, if you need it”
MR: “No, no, there’s no need…”
BY: “Well it’s here…So tell me, what were you doing in Syria, spying of course, and how did they arrest you?”
MR: “Well of course, there was no spying. I was working there as an engineer, I’d been in Syria around 9 months. On that day, I’d gone to the Umayyad Mosque [in Damascus], it was a Friday. While I was there, a protest started. I got my mobile phone out and was taking pictures of this protest from inside the mosque. So, I look to my side and I notice around 30 men, I don’t know if they’re really spies or what…anyway, everyone was filming and then everyone went out into the square that’s outside”
BY: “Were you just filming or were you tweeting as well?”
MR: “When I got out into the square I started tweeting”
BY: “Ah Twitter…Twitter gets a lot of people into trouble these days”
MR: “Afterwards, they took us from the mosque to the security location. When we got there, there was a guy with a kind of cardboard box who wanted to take our wallets and so on. He asked for my name, so I gave him my passport and wallet. Anyway, he told me to take my clothes off. I took my trousers and shirt off and he then said I should take everything off…so I did what they wanted…”
BY: “This story has gotten very exciting for me…what happened after you undressed?”
MR: “They started searching through my clothes, and then another guy said take your clothes and come with me. Anyway, while we were walking we had to pass by a kitchen. There was a carton of tomatoes and one of cucumbers. When I saw the cucumbers, I started to panic and think ‘no, no surely not, surely not!”
BY: “You collapsed with the cucumber”
MR: “Yeah, 32 years I mean, of course I would! Anyway, I relaxed because he then took me to the cell and told me to put my clothes on and closed the door on me. I stayed around two hours there and then they called me and started to question me. It lasted around 5 minutes. They asked why I was there, I said I was at the mosque to pray. He said, man we’re from the intelligence [mokhabarat], take him away! They took me to this place, with guards and so on, and the first thing the guy told me was to lie on my stomach, put my arms behind my back and to raise my legs. I did what I was told. A second later, I felt a strong pain at my legs. And it lasted a while, and I was screaming that I didn’t do anything. I was screaming and crying. They started laughing…”
BY: “Why were they laughing?”
MR: “Well they were making fun of the Egyptian dialect, especially how we pronounce the letter G…they would imitate how I spoke and keep hitting me, while I would be screaming. He would hit me, and I would scream. This lasted quite a while”
BY: “Maybe while torturing you, he would be reminded of Ismail Yasin, so he would laugh”
MR: “Yeah, maybe! And Adel Imam and stuff…he was really happy while I was crying and shouting”
BY: “So you were doing a favour for their intelligence services”
BY: “You were hit and tortured, and I’ve been told it wasn’t just being hit on the feet, but there was real torture”
MR: “Well human rights people that spoke to me afterwards told me that this would classify as torture, as I was blindfolded the whole time, so this would be considered torture”
BY: “So if they [the human rights organisations] hadn’t told you, you would’ve thought it was normal?”
MR: “Yes [laughter]”
BY: “So tell me, what were the confessions they got out of you?”
MR: “At first they said, you will say this and that. You’ll say you went to Israel, I said I couldn’t say that. They told me that if I refused to say so, they’d strip me naked, pour water on me and electrocute me in the [censored]”
BY: “In the where?”
MR: “In the [censored]”
BY: “I hope viewers understood, this was in Syrian of course”
MR: “Well when I first heard this word, I wanted to laugh, but at the same time I was being tortured so it was bizarre…”
BY: “Sorry to interrupt, but were you hearing other people screaming during this time?”
MR: “Yeah, always. We didn’t sleep at night, and before the torture session, there would be others inside and I could hear people being electrocuted…”
BY: “So you think they were screaming from the electricity? Not the cucumbers?”
MR: “Well I don’t know [laughter]”
BY: “Well we keep laughing, but this is a saddening story. I mean, you were tortured and they…demanded some confessions from you. So, they wanted you to say you were in Israel. What else?”
MR: “That I should say I was taking pictures and that I was being funded from abroad. When I heard this, I didn’t really know what to do. I said it didn’t happen, but they told me I will say it anyway. When they threatened me with electrocution, and after I was beaten badly, I said OK, I’ll say whatever you want. I agreed to say I was in Israel, the guy said ‘well done. So how did you get there? [laughter] I didn’t know what to say, just a second ago I was saying I didn’t go but changed my story so I would be electrocuted. But he was convinced, I just said it two minutes, now I had to explain how [I got there]. I kept asking him to tell me what I should say, how do other people get to Israel? At the end, we’d created a story together and…”
BY: “and they filmed you?”
MR: “Yeah, so they brought the Syrian TV and filmed me”
BY: “By the way I wanted to show you a picture, a video that you were in but at the end. It was a regular feature of Syrian television called ‘Vandals Confess’. As you were one of the vandals. We’ll show the clip now and then I want to ask you a question about it when we’re back”
Text: “Vandals Confess”
Man 1: “My name is Ahmed Atef Saada, Jordanian national. They gave me 1500 Lira and told me if I was to cooperate with them, they’d buy me a house as I was renting at the time”
Man 2: “I got to know him at university. We went out several times together”
MR on screen: “Are you willing to help someone Spanish, who speaks Spanish from Colombia?”
BY: “I mean, it’s either you all go to the same place, or there’s only one interior designer in Syria. I don’t know what’s with all the green in Syria, or in Damascus. You were in Damascus, right?”
MR: “Yes”
BY: “Anyway, I’ll ask you a question, because I know a lot of people are going to say this. When you left, your family expressed thanks to the ‘Father of the Nation’ Bashar al-Assad and Syria while you were silent. What has made you speak out now, you were in prison from 25th March to 1st April. So, its two or three months since and now this is the first time you’re speaking out. Why is that?”
MR: “When I left, I was asked a question, ‘have you heard the name Khaled al-Ghayesh?’ I said no. I was told he’s an Egyptian detainee and his family don’t know his whereabouts. And there are a lot of Egyptians detained in Syrian prisons. They said I can go back to my country and that I’m free to say whatever I want, but that I should be aware that there are Egyptians that could disappear completely and that Syrians can do that. I’m someone who just got out of this situation: torture, threats, not just about the electrocution, but they also threatened me with death and I believed them. So, as someone who just got out of that, how else will I think? My conscience would not allow me to utter one word that would put someone like me in such a situation. At the same time, this regime is killing many Syrians, Deraa rose up and lots of people were killed, so I didn’t know how to help them, but one word from me and maybe those Egyptians would not come back. I was told that these people [the Egyptians] were released and arrived back safely. Now we’re at a point in Syria where the truth must be told. The Syrians are our siblings, and every day they have martyrs every Friday. We cannot be silent. We’ve reached a critical point. So I had to speak out.
BY: “How many people have been killed in Syria, according to the official government figures, the numbers have not moved in months?”
MR: “Yeah, these numbers…I mean we’ve reached around 1,700. How many times have we heard 1,700?
BY: “I’ve been hearing this figure for a month now”
MR: “Of course, people can’t enter into Syria. You can estimate how many have been killed. It’s all closed off there, but when you find these secret mass graves, like the one they found near Deraa. I’m sure there are several like this. God knows how many, but surely we must be in the thousands”
BY: “At the time of filming, Hama and several other places are protesting. There are still two places that are yet to rise up, so Damascus has seen some protests, and you mentioned that Aleppo was still calm”
MR: “Exactly. There were some protests at the university in Aleppo, but not on a city-wide scale. Everyone in Syria is waiting for Aleppo and Damascus to rise up. If they do, the whole Syrian people will rise up united”
BY: ‘I hope that by the time this is broadcast, those two cities will have risen and God willing, our siblings in Syria will be liberated. The problem is that we have chosen to focus on Syria in our first episode, on the first day of Ramadan, so that people in the Arab world do not forget what is going on in Syria. Because what is happening there is a massacre and a slaughter and I hope our voice can reach the whole Arab world. Mr. Mohamed Radwan, you are a brave man, you were tortured and beaten. When you told me now, you were laughing, but I’ve met you before and it was nearer the time then. I want to thank you for your bravery to speak out. God willing, you’ll be the last person subjected to this, in the whole Arab world. Thank you very much, I’m very grateful.
Tomorrow we’ll be back with a new episode of The Show. See you then.”