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Gazans Use Satire to Bypass Political Censorship

To circumvent censorship, political critics have turned to satirical literature to express displeasure with local governance.
A worker lifts curtains in a theatre to reveal a picture of Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef for his comic show "Al-Bernameg" (The Programme), in Giza January 15, 2013. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih (EGYPT - Tags: POLITICS ENTERTAINMENT) - RTR3CI1L

Cynical television presenters such as Egyptian Bassem Youssef may soon no longer appear on Palestinian television outlets as a result of the increased censorship imposed on local media. Yet, this same censorship has stood helpless with the spread of sarcastic literature and media published on social networking sites. The comical episodes of a drama titled “Watan ala Watar” (Country on a String), which is aired on a YouTube channel of the same name, have drawn in excess of 6 million viewers as a result of the program being banned from the official Palestinian television station because of the harsh criticism it leveled against political leaders a few years ago.

In Gaza, the situation is different, as the growing trend has focused on the publication of satirical articles through social networking sites and local online news agencies. This trend reflects society’s discontent with all religious, cultural and political movements and makes these types of writings an absolute necessity.

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