Saad Eddin Ibrahim is a prominent Egyptian social scientist, human rights defender and democracy advocate. He has authored or edited more than thirty books and over a hundred scholarly articles. Ibrahim has lectured at DePauw, UCLA, Columbia, NYU, the American Universities of Beirut (AUB) and Cairo (AUC), and the Istanbul Kulture University.
He has founded and directed a number of think tanks, policy institutes and advocacy organizations in the Arab World – namely the Arab Human Rights Organization (AHRO), the Arab Thought Forum (ATF), the Arab Board for Childhood and Development (ABCD), the Ibn Khaldun Center for Democratic Studies (IKCD), the Arab Democracy Foundation (ADF), and Voices for a Democratic Egypt (VDE).
Despite all his achievements, Ibrahim’s rise to international fame was, as he puts it, accidental. Alarmed by Ibrahim’s growing activism, Egypt’s president Mubarak hounded him in the courts and imprisoned him from 2000 to 2003. Though he was ultimately acquitted by Egypt’s High Court and exonerated of all charges, the Mubarak regime resumed its relentless campaign to silence him. On August 21, 2008, Ibrahim was convicted by a Cairo Misdemeanors Court and sentenced in absentia to two years hard labor. This time, the charge was “tarnishing Egypt’s image abroad”, and the evidence was an op-ed published in the Washington Post. His conviction was later overturned.
Ibrahim returned to Egypt from exile in 2010 despite fears of arrest. As of 2022, he continues to work with the Ibn Khaldun Center for Democratic Studies.