In response to the controversial projection of the Israeli flag on the Sydney Opera House’s sails by the NSW Government, Bassem Youssef, the renowned Egyptian comedian, delivered an unforgettable and sold-out show on Friday 17 November 2023, at this iconic venue.

Beyond the laughter, Bassem’s end performance served as a touching display of solidarity with the Palestinian people, underscored by his insightful reflections on the sanctity of every innocent life.

Addressing the audience with his characteristic humour, Bassem remarked on the recent flag projection, asserting, “A few weeks ago, in this opera house, there was a certain flag that was projected, and you know it was flying to show solidarity – I think we should show solidarity for every single civilian’s innocent life. All lives are equal, and all lives are precious.”

Encouraging the audience to actively participate in sharing the experience, he humorously added, “So we told you before not to get your mobile phones out, we ask you now to get your mobile phones out, to share this as much as possible because we have a little bit of a treat for you.”

The ambience in the Sydney Opera House transformed as the powerful Palestinian song “Dammi Falastini” by Mohammed Assaf filled the air as drummers emerged, beating the rhythm while proudly brandishing the Palestinian flag.

The audience erupted with excitement, capturing the electrifying performance on their mobile phones. Dancers, proudly wearing the Palestinian keffiyeh, joined the drummers, passionately executing the Dabke—a traditional Palestinian and Arab dance.

Always in tune with his audience, Bassem couldn’t resist becoming part of the lively performance, further invigorating the already enthusiastic crowd.

As the show reached its emotional crescendo, Bassem expressed gratitude, stating, “We chose to end the show to show our solidarity with love, with music, with humour, with art, with love. This is what we are all about.”

Bassem Youssef, a former cardiothoracic surgeon turned satirical comedian, gained prominence through his comedy show focused on Egyptian politics from 2011 to 2014.

Often hailed as “Egypt’s Jon Stewart,” Bassem’s unique comedic style, blending satire with astute social commentary, has earned him international acclaim.

His global recognition surged following a viral interview with Piers Morgan on Wednesday 18 October 2023, shedding light on the Israel-Palestine conflict.

The video, amassing over 21 million views, showcased Bassem’s adept use of dark humour to expose the depths of dehumanisation, anti-Arab sentiment, and Islamophobia perpetuated and exacerbated by the ongoing conflict.