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Ensuring a pan-Arabic platform for freedom of expression

Naser ShroufGuest commentary

Naser Shrouf, Head of Distribution for Africa / Middle East 

Political satire in Egypt can be a dangerous business but it is often through humor that people understand themselves better. With his news show Al Bernameg, Bassem Youssef uses comedy to provide a way for Egyptians to laugh at themselves during a very serious time for their country. The program also creates a window looking into Egyptian society and now with DW as a broadcasting partner that window will be opened to a much wider audience.

By adding Al Bernameg to the lineup we at DW are once again showing our commitment to promote and foster advocates of free speech and democracy through working closely with partners around the world. It is a sign of where we want to go as an organization – exploring diverse formats and connecting in new ways with local audiences.

For almost three years Egypt has been struggling to define itself. The function of a free press, that is so vital to this process, has also suffered. Non-traditional media has often filled the void. Al Bernameg, through making fun of political personages and social mores, provides an objective perspective that may look funny on the surface but is serious to the core.

After being taken off the air in November, Al Bernameg is now being broadcast each week, locally and on DW (Arabia). With DW, the show will be ensured an audience stretching from Morocco to Iraq. Freedom of speech and critique of the government are values essential to building modern societies. We think that programs like Al Bernameg are an important component of the media landscape in the Arab world – and we are committed to helping get the message across.

 

 

Date

2014-02-24 | 2:40

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