With boldness, grace, and that sly snark that we've grown to love, the Jon Stewart of the Arab world made his mark at the 43rd International Emmy Awards.
“When we laugh, they lose,” said Bassem Youssef in his unique, bold style at the 43rd International Emmy Awards presentation he hosted last night. The Egyptian satirist, the first Arab artist to ever lead the award ceremony, took a moment during his introductory speech to refer to the recent attacks in Paris, Mali, Lebanon, Nigeria, Kenya, and Sinai, making a broader statement about the global narrative surrounding the Middle East with subtlety and grace.
“The world is still in a state of trauma,” said the showman dubbed “the Jon Stewart of the Arab world.” With a less ceremonious tone, Youssef referred to his presence as an Egyptian Muslim as a part of the healing process. “The Academy chose me, an Arab Muslim, to host this event months ago; maybe out of confidence in my ability, or lack of funds to get anyone better,” he joked.
“We’ll have fun,” he concluded, with one of the strongest statements the night would witness. “Because when we laugh, they lose. When we laugh and do what we do here tonight, those evil bastards lose.”
As it turned out, France was the biggest winner with L’hexagone taking home three statuettes and popular cops-and-lawyers series, Spiral, winning the award for best drama series. Attending the awards held at the New York Hilton in Manhattan with his wife, Hala Diab, Youssef kept his casual, irreverent tone as he posed for snapshots with Hollywood stars Michael Douglas and Star Trek’s George Takei.