Yosri Fouda

Yosri Fouda (Arabic: يسري فودةYusrī Fūdah, IPA: [ˈjosɾi ˈfuːdæ]), is an Egyptian investigative reporter, author, and television host. He established Al Jazeera's office in London and was one of the star figures in the channel until he resigned in 2009. Currently Fouda is a television host at the Cairo-based ONTV Egyptian Channel.[1] He co‑authored Masterminds of Terror: The Truth Behind the Most Devastating Attack The World Has Ever Seen, published in 2003 by Arcade Publishing.

Yosri Fouda
OccupationTalk Show host and Journalist
Known for
  • Sirri lil-Ghaya (Top Secret) 1998–2009
  • Akhir Kalam (Final Word) 2010–2014
  • Al-Solta Al-Khamsa (Fifth Estate) 2016–2018

Early life and educationEdit

Fouda was born in Manshyet Ganzour[2] in Tanta, El Gharbia. He got his bachelor's degree in Mass Communication at Cairo University and was appointed as an Assistant lecturer after his graduation. He pursued his master's degree at the American University in Cairo and graduated in 1992. Shortly after his graduation he got a Diploma in TV production from the Netherlands.[3]

In 1993, Fouda was granted a scholarship from the British Council to pursue his PhD in documentary at University of Strathclyde and University of Glasgow. His studies were interrupted after he was approached by the BBC, who were looking for reporters with fluency in Arabic language.[3][4]


BBC, Associated Press and ANNEdit

Fouda's short lived BBC career spanned between 1994 and 1996. He took part in establishing the BBC Arabic service in 1994, and later served as a roving reporter alongside veteran journalist Martin Bell. He covered the Bosnian independence war, and other important events in the Middle East and Africa. After only two years the services of the Arabic BBC subsidiary were suspended due to political reasons and Fouda joined the Associated Press Television News. He took part in establishing the Middle East desk at the news agency, as well as, setting up the London-based Arab News Network (ANN).[4]

Al JazeeraEdit

In 1996, he joined the newly formed Al Jazeera as a UK and Western Europe correspondent. A year later he helped in securing an independent production office for Al Jazeera, and established their office in London. He was later appointed as the bureau chief of the London Al Jazeera office. Fouda started his widely popular monthly program Top Secret (Arabic: سري للغاية‎, Sirrī lil-Ġāyah) in 1998.[4]

Sirri lil-Ghaya and Al QaedaEdit

His program was greatly received by critiques and viewers in the Arab world and won the second place at the 1998 Cairo Radio and Production Festival.[4] In April 2002, Fouda interviewed Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who admitted his involvement, along with Ramzi bin al-Shibh, in the September 11 attacks.[5] Fouda does not consider his interview with the 9/11 orchestrators as a turning point in his career; instead he believes it introduced him to an international audience.[3]

It has been suggested that Fouda gave away the hideaway location of bin al‑Shibh to Aljazeera's chairman Hamad bin Thamer Al Thani, a cousin of the Emir of Qatar, and that CIA director George Tenet received the location tip-off from the Emir, resulting in bin al‑Shibh's capture.[6]

In 2006, Fouda, in charge of Aljazeera's London bureau, broke the story on the "martyrdom video" by "9/11 hijackers" Mohamed Atta and Ziad Jarrah.[7]

Fouda resigned from Aljazeera in 2009, almost two years before the 2011 Egyptian revolution that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak. His resignation was driven by his disagreement with the inter-politics of the news agency, along with his feeling that an important event will soon take place in Egypt.[3] Soon after his resignation, Fouda joined ONTV to host a talk show Last Words (اخر كلام).


Fouda joined the politically independent Egyptian channel in 2010. Although he received numerous "tempting" offers from Aljazeera rivals, Fouda chose to return to Egypt. ONTV was still a new channel with a small budget, but he believed in the channels administration and founder Naguib Sawiris - a renowned Egyptian businessman.

2011 Egyptian revolutionEdit

Fouda supported the revolution from day one, and offered an uninterrupted coverage of the Tahrir Square protests. Although he did not join the protests in Tahrir, he believed that his role should be in reporting and broadcasting the events as they unfold.[8] His show gained massive popularity in Egypt during and after the revolution, and was at the top of TV show ratings. Fouda had interesting thoughts about the post-revolution Egypt, where he stated in an interview with Stephen Sackur that very little had changed in Egypt since the revolution, and that the ex-regime is still around and it should be preserved.[9]

Suspending his talk showEdit

His show constantly criticized Egypt's former military rulers and in October 2011, Fouda suspended his show in protest of what he called the "efforts by the country's military rulers to stifle free expression". He said "This is my way of self-censorship, either to say the truth or to be silent".[10] The show went off air for three weeks and was resumed on November 13, 2011. At the start of his episode Fouda stressed that he stopped his program for three weeks to "prove a stance", and that his allegiance is always to "right and truth".[11] On May 17 Fouda stated on his Twitter account that he will end the show in six weeks, but he then decided to continue for another year. The show was suspended again on late June, 2012. He did not offer a clear explanation of the reasons and chose to briefly tweet “I’ve stopped my show because I respect you, the details concern me alone. The only thing that matters for the viewer is my work”.[1] The show resumed in September, 2012.

Leaving Deutsche WelleEdit

In September 2018, Fouda parted ways with German broadcaster Deutsche Welle in controversial circumstances that are now the subject of legal action.


Yosri Fouda authored and co-authored a collection of three books. In May 2003, Fouda alongside Nick Fielding published Masterminds of Terror: The Truth Behind the Most Devastating Terrorist Attack the World Has Ever Seen.[12] Almost a year and a half later he published Serri lel-Ghaya meaning Highly confidential, a seven part sequel,[13] which includes a collection of carefully selected investigations. The sequel offers a deeper insight about various events discussed earlier in his show, and grants the reader access to secret reports, testimonies and evidences. This collection was published by the World Book Publishing in Beirut, and is only available in Arabic.

Capture or Kill: The Pursuit of the 9/11 Masterminds and the Killing of Osama bin Laden (updated edition 2012, Arcade Publishing, ISBN 161145400X)[14] is Fouda's second collaboration with the British investigative journalist Nick Fielding. In 2015, Fouda authored In Harm's Way: From the Stronghold of al-Qaida to the Heart of ISIL book,[15] it was published by Dar El Shourok in Cairo and is available in Arabic language. In 2016, he authored another book called The last words: A testimony of hope in the Egyptian Revolution.[16]


On Sunday March 24, 2013 Fouda fractured his neck in a car accident near the Red Sea resort town of Hurghada. He was transported to the Gouna Hospital and his situation was reported to be stable.[17]


I do not really believe there is such a thing as al-Qaida, the organization; there is al-Qaida, the mind-set. —Yosri Fouda[18]

The experience of freedom is in one way like the experience of death. You can visit death but you can't come back from it. —Yosri Fouda[3]

Who benefited the most from September 11?...Of course the Arab regimes, both America and Al Qaeda lost, the moderates lost, I lost and you lost, but our regimes in a blink of an eye gave themselves the permission to fight and abuse the opposition and enforce new laws to tighten their grip in the name of security, God, ethics, and in the name of what they call war on terror. —Yosri Fouda

But when you ask Egypt’s people to defend Egypt’s army from Egypt’s people, we must tell you stop, who is responsible for that?. —Yosri Fouda

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Kortam, Hend (June 21, 2012). "Yosri Fouda goes off air". Daily News Egypt. Retrieved April 1, 2013.
  2. ^ Yousri Fouda profile and books
  3. ^ a b c d e "Yosri Fouda on His Career- Engima Magazine Exclusive". YouTube. September 2, 2011. Retrieved April 1, 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d "Yosri Fouda". The Adham Center for Television Journalism. Retrieved March 30, 2013.
  5. ^ "We left out nuclear targets, for now". The Guardian. March 4, 2003.
  6. ^ Mayer, Jane, The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals, 2008. p. 176.
  7. ^ Fouda, "The Laughing 9/11 Bombers", and "Focus: Chilling Message of the 9/11 Pilots", both in Sunday Times (UK), Oct. 1, 2006.
  8. ^ "'YOSRI FOUDA ON EGYPT'S REVOLUTION- ENIGMA MAGAZINE EXCLUSIVE'". YouTube. September 2, 2011. Retrieved April 2, 2013.
  9. ^ "Are the forces of oppression making a comeback in Egypt? - Yosri Fouda". YouTube/HARDtalk. October 31, 2011. Retrieved April 3, 2013.
  10. ^ El Deeb, Sarah (October 21, 2011). "Yosri Fouda, Prominent Egyptian TV Host, Suspends Talk Show In Protest". The Huffington Post. Retrieved April 1, 2013.
  11. ^ "Yosri Fouda makes TV comeback, says hiatus proved 'stance'". Daily News Egypt. November 14, 2011. Retrieved April 1, 2013.
  12. ^ Masterminds of Terror: The Truth Behind the Most Devastating Terrorist Attack the World Has Ever Seen. ISBN 1559707089.
  13. ^ Yousri Fouda: Serri lel Ghaya ســري لـلـغـايـة.
  14. ^ Capture or Kill: The Pursuit of the 9/11 Masterminds and the Killing of Osama bin Laden. ASIN 161145400X.
  15. ^ "In Harm's Way – terrorism as seen by its perpetrators". March 17, 2015.
  16. ^ The last words: A testimony of hope in the revolution of Egypt - آخر كلام؛ شهادة أمل في ثورة مصر.
  17. ^ "Egypt TV star Yosri Fouda injured in car accident". Ahram News. March 25, 2013. Retrieved April 2, 2013.
  18. ^ Coll, Steve; Susan B. Glasser (July 8, 2005). "Attacks Bear Earmarks Of Evolving Al Qaeda". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 1, 2013.

External linksEdit