DUBAI: Egyptian comedian and TV host Bassem Youssef took to social media to explain his outfit choice in his recent interview with Piers Morgan, saying it paid tribute to people’s “natural connection with the land.”
The two-hour interview saw Youssef don a jacket known as a qashabiya — something markedly different from the usual interview attire opted for by celebrities and political pundits.
In the interview, the pair discussed Israel’s current military campaign in Gaza and the conditions Palestinians face under Israeli occupation.
Of his clothes, Youssef said: “Is it Native American? Is it Mexican? No its Saudi, Palestinian, Jordanian, Algerian, Moroccan, it comes from the Arab Peninsula, no it’s African. The truth is, it’s none and it’s all. When I was getting ready for the second interview, I have already prepared my outfit. Jacket, white shirt, black pants. The usual ‘interview look.’ The night before I saw that jacket in my closet. A friend of mine in Jordan was starting her business and gave it to me as a gift. Is it “Tatreez” is it “Sidau” is it “Qashgabia”? It is all and its none,” he said
“What was fascinating is that people who lived so far apart from each other, whether in Palestine, Arabian desert, African plains, North and south American mountains have so much in common without them knowing. The colors, the designs the vibrant patterns. All these people had that in common thousands of years ago. Maybe its the natural connection with the land. Maybe that’s the language of the indigenous people everywhere: colors, warmth and fabrics made with love,” the comedian added, touching on shared cultural practices.
“Maybe this is how they connected with the land. with colors, with love with history and memories and roots. Like those roots of the olive trees that stayed there for 600 years. These are not just colors. and Olive trees are not just plants. They are family. And if someone uproots a family member that has been there for 600 years, well they obviously never belonged to that family. I put by monotone colored jacket away and I wore this. May you all feel the love, the belonging and the colors that surrounds us and connect us to the land, the earth, the roots. And I think the least I can do is let people know about my friend in Jordan. This is the account. I am sure she will be pleasantly surprised. @qashabeyyeh,” Youssef concluded.
Youssef delivered a history masterclass, in his inimitable satirical and subversive manner, in his second interview with Piers Morgan on Nov. 2 — highlighting that Palestinian rights were continually being denied by the powerful, “apartheid” state of Israel and its allies.
The two-hour Piers Morgan Uncensored interview was a stark contrast to the stiffness of their viral interview on Oct. 17 which was heated, marred by signal delays, and saw Morgan struggling to respond to the Egyptian-American comedian’s satirical humor on the conditions Palestinians face under Israeli occupation.
This time the interaction between the two was noticeably warmer, with Morgan flying halfway across the world to meet with Youssef in a Los Angeles comedy club.