Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Bassem Youssef Hosts 'Controversial' Lebanese Band Mashrou' Leila

Bassem Youssef  (3rd from left) with Mashrou' Leila band members

Bassem Youssef, aka 'Egypt's Jon Stewart' recently sparked more controversy in Egypt after hosting Lebanese band Mashrou' Leila whose music has redefined alternative Arabic music and whose poignant video clips do not shy away from tackling various social and political issues that are so often ignored or dismissed in mainstream Arabic songs.

Youssef, who has since been accused of insulting religion by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, hosted  مشروع ليلى Mashrou' Leila during the season finale of his TV show albernameg.  Mashrou' Leila is a seven-piece alternative rock band from Beirut which has won countless fans throughout the Middle East since forming in 2008. Its frank treatment of taboo subjects such as sexuality and religion has drawn criticism and applause due (among other things) to the fact that the band's lead singer Hamed Sinno is openly gay (see http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/25/bassem-youssef-mashrou-leila-_n_3154736.html)

Of his experience with Mashrou Leila, Youssef stated, "I heard their songs and I didn't ask about his orientation ... Did we discuss [his] being openly gay on the show? We didn't."  He then added that "They will just try to dig up anything to...alienate you in front of the people."

Here is a segment from 'The Huffington Post' web site in which Bassem Youssef discusses this matter (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/25/bassem-youssef-mashrou-leila-_n_3154736.html):







Here is the Mashrou' Leila segment from Bassem Youssef's TV show Albarnameg:  http://youtu.be/WzreD9hU7g4?t=1m36s



This report from CNN tackled this subject and can can be found at http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/international/2013/02/06/inside-middle-east-lebanon-music-mashrou3-leila.cnn.html



Here is the full Segment/interview with Bassem Youssef from HuffingtonPost.com:




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