Emad Mubarak

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2007
Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression


This profile was prepared when Emad Mubarak Abd El-Raheem was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2007.
The New Idea
Emad works to ensure academic freedom within Egyptian universities so the over 2.5 million students and university staff can enjoy the rights guaranteed by international conventions. His aim is to operationalize the 1988 Lima Declaration on academic freedom and the autonomy of institutions of higher education. Additionally, he calls on the state to honor its obligation to ensure all members of the academic community the civic, political, economic, social, and cultural rights recognized in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Egyptian Constitution. These rights include freedom of thought, expression, assembly and association, as well as the right to liberty and security of movement.

Emad’s strategy has four components: First, he educates students about their rights concerning their activities and provides legal support to those subjected to discipline committees. Second, he works with university professors and administrators, as well as education experts to guarantee that all students have the opportunity to participate in student unions and freely express opinions on any topic. Third, Emad helps professors research and teach free of interference, and enjoy the freedom to maintain contact with colleagues around the world. Lastly, Emad develops and launches awareness campaigns targeted to the academic community and society at-large, including citizen organizations (COs), the media, and the general public. These campaigns serve to inform the community about the notion of academic freedom, the violations committed against it, and the importance of defending these rights.

By defending students’ rights and making strides to curb laws that stifle academic freedoms, Emad is beginning to reverse the repressive trend of the past fifty years.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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