Controversial Egyptian satirist hosts Emmy Awards ceremony

Controversial Egyptian satirist hosts Emmy Awards ceremony
Video: Bassem Youssef became the first Arab personality to host the International Emmy Awards this week who seized the moment to remember the victims of IS crimes.
2 min read
26 November, 2015
Bassem fled Egypt after coming under pressure from authorities [YouTube]
Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef set the tone on Monday of the 43rd International Emmy Awards as he paused to commemorate the recent victims of Islamic state group [IS] attacks around the world, al-Araby al-Jadeed's Arabic service has reported.

Youssef became the first Arab to host the award ceremony for television programmes that have been produced and transmitted outside the US in front of a crowd of over 1,000 in New York.

"The world is still in a state of trauma not just from Paris also but from Mali, Beirut, Nigeria, Kenya and Sinai in Egypt where I'm from," Youssef said.

"The Academy chose me, an Arab Muslim, to host this event months ago. When we laugh, they lose. When we laugh, and do what we do here tonight, those evil bastards lose," he added.

The comedian, whose television programme was once the most watched in Egypt, said that when people come together to celebrate art they can find out their capacity to heal and grow.

He even insulted IS in Arabic: "Curse all of your fathers you sons of b******", he said, joking that censors would not be able to understand.

IS has recently stepped up its attacks outside the territory it controls in Syria and Iraq.

Earlier this month, IS carried out a series of coordinated attacks began at six locations in central Paris, leaving 130 dead.

On Tuesday, 12 presidential guards were killed in Tunisia, when their bus was attacked by a suicide bomber on a central street in the country's capital.

Youssef's controversial satire show al-Bernameg came to an end last year, amid harassment and pressure from the Egyptian government, he fled Egypt and now lives in the US.