By Sarah Maslin Nir of the New York Times
Every other day or so, Hatem El-Gamasy connects to a news audience nearly halfway around the world, delivering hot takes on American politics, live from New York, but on Egyptian television.
When the broadcast ends, he slips out his earpieces, opens the door of his makeshift studio and returns to his day job.
“You want ketchup on that?” he said to a customer on a recent morning. “Extra ketchup as usual?”
Mr. El-Gamasy owns the Lotus Deli in Ridgewood, Queens, a place known for its sandwiches, extensive craft beer selection, and its gracious, friendly owner. But few of his customers — and likely, none of his viewers in Egypt — know that the man making egg sandwiches and small talk behind the counter is the same one who appears on popular Egyptian television news programs, holding forth on subjects from immigration policy to North Korea.
Nor do many know that his television studio is actually a converted room in the back, past the potato chips display.