Pittsburgh Humanities Festival 2017: Seek Arabic-Speaking Volunteers





Pittsburgh, PA—Bassem Youssef is used to attacking some of the world’s most intractable conflicts, armed with nothing more than a sharp sense of humor.

Dubbed by some “The Jon Stewart of the Arab World,” Youssef is famous for his controversial, satirical TV show, “AlBernameg,” which had more than 30 million weekly viewers—making it one of the most popular shows in the Arabic-speaking world.

The Pittsburgh Humanities Festival 2017 will feature intimate conversations for three days in the Cultural District, March 24-26, 2017.  Mr. Youssef is one of the featured speakers to present at this year’s Festival on Saturday, March 25, 2017, at 8:00 p.m., at the Byham Theater, 101 Sixth Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222.  He will present ‘The Joke is Mightier Than the Sword.”

Call for Arabic-Speaking Volunteers
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is seeking Arabic speakers to assist Pittsburgh Cultural Trust personnel (box office, ushers, administration), so that the event is as user-friendly for Arabic-speaking patrons as English-speaking ones.

Interested volunteers can apply at TrustArts.org/Youssef.

About Bassem Youssef
To make the Jon Stewart comparison literal, Mr. Youssef has appeared twice on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” and hosted Stewart on his show, “AlBernameg,” in Cairo.

Youssef has had considerable success skewering the rich and powerful, and has been served with many lawsuits and even arrested. He was named among Time Magazine’s Most Influential list, awarded an International Press Freedom Award by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

In college, Mr. Youssef studied cardiothoracic surgery.  He passed the United States Medical License Exam and is a member of the Royal College of Surgeons in the UK.

More Pittsburgh Humanities Festival 2017 Programming

Another highlight of the Festival is “Have-a-Chat for Humanity,” which began as an open call to the community on YouTube for public participation in the Festival. Three public submissions were accepted by a Festival panel and are now included among the Festival’s 25 Core Conversations. A Core Conversations Pass is required to attend these conversations, separate from Featured Event tickets:

  • J. Gaynard: 1:30 p.m., Sunday, March 26, Harris Theater, 809 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222.Gaynard considers how much philosophy lies within every tiny decision. For example, how far can we tease out what’s involved in making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?
  • Bergita Bugarija: 1:30 p.m., Sunday, March 26, Trust Arts Education Center, 4th Floor, 805-807 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222.An insightful dive into the migrant journey, Bugarija explores what migrants learn along their way and how this can infuse a sense of humanity with fresh hope, helping us to see it all in a different light.
  • David Bennett: 1:30 p.m., Sunday March 26, Trust Arts Education Center, Peirce Studio, 805-807 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222.Bennett explains that we know Bach mainly through his monumental organ pieces and large choral works. By examining his solo cello repertoire, we can become acquainted with a more personal side of Bach, a man struggling with the tragic loss of his beloved wife of 13 years.

The 2017 Pittsburgh Humanities Festival featured events include The Writers of The Onion (writers from satirical newspaper/website) on Friday, March 24, 8:00pm, Byham Theater, 101 Sixth Street, Pittsburgh PA 15222; Bassem Youssef on Saturday, March 25, 8pm, Byham Theater, 101 Sixth Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222; and A Conversation with Kathleen Neal Cleaver & Denise Oliver-Velez, who were members of the Black Panther Party, and are now acclaimed writers and professors, on Saturday, March 25, August Wilson Center, 980 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222.

The Pittsburgh Humanities Festival, March 24-26, 2017, is a production of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and the Humanities Center at Carnegie Mellon University.

For tickets and information, visit: www.TrustArts.org/SmartTalk, call 412-456-6666, or in person at Theater Square Box Office, 655 Penn Avenue.


About Pittsburgh Humanities Festival
The Pittsburgh Humanities Festival, a production of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and the Humanities Center of Carnegie Mellon University, first launched in 2015, is a three-day gathering of internationally-renowned academics, artists, and intellectual innovators in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District. The second Festival, March 24 – 26, 2017, will offer intimate conversations, interviews, and performances focused on art, literature, music, science, policy, politics, and more—all helping us to explore what it means to be human. It’s smart talk about stuff that matters.

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For more information about the 2017 Pittsburgh Humanities Festival, a production of Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and the Humanities Center of Carnegie Mellon University, please visit: www.TrustArts.org/SmartTalk.

Humanities Center at Carnegie Mellon University
Founded in 2003, the Humanities Center at Carnegie Mellon promotes and support scholarship and research that actively engages with culture and human production across the disciplines. Both a commitment to interdisciplinary collaboration and engagement with the traditional questions addressed by the humanities are essential at a university historically focused on science, technology, and the arts. Through lectures, panel discussions, conferences, and public outreach in our Faces Film Festivals, we demonstrate the value and interest of the humanities on and off campus. Over the past decade, Carnegie Mellon has strengthened its standing in the humanities. Its Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences has distinguished faculty and talented students in the departments of English, History, Modern Languages and Philosophy who are focused on teaching and learning deep intellectual knowledge as well as developing useful, practical skills.

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has overseen one of Pittsburgh’s most historic transformations: turning a seedy red-light district into a magnet destination for arts lovers, residents, visitors, and business owners. Founded in 1984, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a non-profit arts organization whose mission is the cultural and economic revitalization of a 14-block arts and entertainment/residential neighborhood called the Cultural District. The District is one of the country’s largest land masses “curated” by a single nonprofit arts organization. A major catalytic force in the city, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a unique model of how public-private partnerships can reinvent a city with authenticity, innovation and creativity. Using the arts as an economic catalyst, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has holistically created a world-renowned Cultural District that is revitalizing the city, improving the regional economy and enhancing Pittsburgh’s quality of life. Thanks to the support of foundations, corporations, government agencies and thousands of private citizens, the Trust stands as a national model of urban redevelopment through the arts. www.TrustArts.org

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