Saad Eddin Ibrahim is an Egyptian social scientist, human rights defender, and a democracy advocate who is currently a visiting professor at Indiana University. He has also taught at DePauw, UCLA, Columbia, NYU, the American Universities of Beirut and Cairo, and Istanbul Kulture University. He has authored or edited more than 30 books and more than one hundred scholarly articles.
Ibrahim has founded and/or directed a number of think tanks, policy institutes, and advocacy organizations in the Arab world, including the Arab Human Rights Organization, the Arab Thought Forum, the Arab Board for Childhood and Development, the Ibn Khaldun Center for Democratic Studies, the Arab Democracy Foundation, and Voices for a Democratic Egypt. Ibrahim has received over 20 awards and honorary degrees from all over the world, including the Danish Pundik Freedom Prize in 2008.
But his claim to international fame, as he puts it, was accidental. When Egypt's President Mubarak became alarmed by Ibrahim's growing activism, Mubarak imprisoned him between 2000 and 2003. Although he was ultimately acquitted by Egypt's High Court and exonerated of all charges, the Mubarak regime has resumed its campaign to silence him. On August 21, 2008, Ibrahim was convicted by a Cairo misdemeanors court and sentenced in absentia to two years with hard labor. This time, the charge was "tarnishing Egypt's image abroad" and the evidence was an op-ed piece published in The Washington Post titled "Egypt's Unchecked Repression." Sixteen more legal suits against him are still pending in various Egyptian courts.