Saad Eddin Ibrahim is Emeritus Professor at American University in Cairo and founding chairman of the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies, Cairo, Egypt and serves on numerous international boards. Ibrahim is one of the Arab world’s most prominent political sociologists, who has published widely on Islam, politics, democracy and civil society. He became the center of international attention in mid-2000 when he was arrested by the Mubarak regime and tried three times on politically-motivated charges. He was convicted twice by state security courts for accepting foreign funds without government permission and for publishing information that “tarnished Egypt’s image abroad.” Each time he was sentenced to seven years of hard labor. In 2003, after 15 months in prison, Egypt’s highest appeals court acquitted him of all charges.
Ibrahim has received numerous awards, including the Pagels Award, New York Academy of Sciences; American Sociological Association Distinguished Scholar Award; Sakharov Prize nomination from the European Parliament; International PEN Writers in Distress Award; International Human Rights Award of the Lawyers Committee on Human Rights; the Bette Bao Lord Prize for Writing in the Cause of Freedom from Freedom House, and the Middle East Studies Association Academic Freedom Award. After his acquittal he continued to write and speak out on behalf of democracy and human rights despite legal harassment and exile from 2007 to 2011. When the Mubarak regime was forced to step down by an unprecedented popular uprising, he returned to Egypt where he currently writes in the independent press and advises new political groups and young activists working to establish a democratic civil state.