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Tickling Giants

The Arab Spring in Egypt: From a dictator to free elections, back to a dictatorship. TICKLING GIANTS is the story of Bassem Youssef, a cardiologist turned comedian, the Jon Stewart of Egypt, and his show “The Show,” which united Egypt and tested the limits of free press.

Director: Sara Taksler
Year: 2016
Time: 113 mins

 Tickling Giants
(2016) on IMDb

Watch the Film

International: Netflix
Sweden: Vodeville
Other Ways To Watch

Download Discussion Guide

Ways to Influence

WatchDemocracy Handbook,” an online series in which Bassem Youssef travels across the United States to learn about the North American version of democracy, all in his own comedic fashion.

Join the CPJ (Committee to Protect Journalists) network by subscribing to their e-mail list. This international community reports on infringements to freedom of press across the globe.

Contemplate the call to action posted on the film’s website, which encourages each of us to turn to humor in challenging times. “Are you brave enough to tell a joke?”

Read “Revolution for Dummies: Laughing through the Arab Spring,” a book by Bassem Youssef in which he recalls his journey from heart surgeon to renowned political satirist.

Related Articles and Resources

Bassem Youssef

Follow Bassem Youssef on Twitter and Facebook!

Bassem Youssef stirs debate by equating Trump and Arab societies

Youssef challenges Arabs to recognize that the same critique they have of Trump’s internal racism runs rampant in the Arab world. “We should not forget or ignore that we in the Arab world and the Muslim world have the same kind of rhetoric,” he responded, adding that “we are afraid that Trump will do to Muslims what many of the majority-Muslim countries do to non-Muslims.”

Read the article in DW.

How Egypt’s Activists Became Generation Jail

Six years after the Arab Spring, the country’s democracy activists live under constant threat of prison — or worse.

Read the full article on the New York Times.

Public reacts to suspension of Bassem Youssef’s TV show

The suspension of the “Al Bernameg” show, presented by the well-known satirist Bassem Youssef on MBC Masr channel, has sparked a wave of controversy. Egypt Independent has spoken to the public to hear their reactions of the decision.


Egypt’s Jon Stewart tries to rebuild his comedy career in the U.S. It’s hard.

A recent look at Bassem Youssef, and his attempts to jump-start a comedy career on American soil. “Youssef believes that Trump doesn’t understand the role of an American President. ‘You’re not the CEO of a company any more. You are a public servant serving the people. He thinks that he is ruling them, not serving them.’

Find out more on USA Today.

How comedy makes us better

An in-depth look at comedy over the course of time, touching on its many individual and communal benefits. “The best comedians are our most effective anthropologists and cultural critics. ‘Political comedy, when done right, is a delivery system for truth.”

Read the full article on the BBC.

The Guardian view on Egypt’s dictatorship: a war of Sisi’s own making

Egyptian forces appear to have shot detainees in cold blood. There are too many signs that a military dictatorship in a key Arab nation is losing control in the sands of the Sinai

Read the article on The Guardian.

Egyptian Political Satirist Bassem Youssef On Media And The Arab Spring

Read our listen to the interview with Bassem Youssef from NPR.


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