CAIRO: Egyptian comedian Bassem Youssef was awarded Tuesday the Silver World Medal in the Best Host category of the New York Festivals World’s Best TV and Film for his show El Bernameg, which has been off the air since June 2014.
Youssef was also awarded two finalist certificates in Best Technical Production Team and Regularly Scheduled Entertainment Program. El Bernameg is the first Arab production to receive the award, as branded by MBC Misr channel. The satire show was branded by two channels prior to MBC Misr.
The former heart surgeon also won the International Press Freedom Award by the Committee to Protect Journalists in November 2013. He has been a resident follow at Harvard’s Institute of Politics since January 2015.
Youssef presented his last episode in April 2014, but his show was suspended during the presidential elections campaign in May. In June, after President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi won the elections, he organized a press conference announcing the end of his show due to “dangers posed by the political climate.” He has appeared with Jon Stewart a few times since then at the Daily Show.
After El Bernameg shut down, troubles still reached Youssef from former business partners and Sisi supporters.
The Cairo Regional Center for International Commercial Arbitration (CRCICA) ordered in December that Youssef and the Qsoft production company pay 50 million EGP ($7 million) each to the CBC channels of Future Media for “violating their contract,” Youm7 reported.
Qsoft announced it would challenge the CRCICA decision, Masrway online reported.
The satire show began on YouTube after the January 25 Revolution in 2011, then broadcast 104 episodes on ON TV channel in 2011 and 2012.
CBC channel hosted the show from November 2012 until June 2013, right before the June 30 protests that led to the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi. The channel aired only the first episode of the show’s third season in October 2013, then announced it would not air subsequent episodes because of unspecified “contract violations.”