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Mohamed Fahmy

Award-Winning Author, Journalist & Advocate for Freedom of the Press

Mohamed Fahmy has spent most of his career covering conflict zones and some of the most definitive global events that shape our world today. His most recent post as the Egypt Bureau Chief of Al Jazeera International captured world attention when he was arrested in December 2013. He was unjustly incarcerated for 438 days — including a month in solitary — alongside ISIS terrorists and some of the most hardened Jihadists in the Middle East.

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Presentations

Media in The Age of Terror: How The War On Terror Became A War On Journalism
Mohamed sheds light on the “Media Trial of the Century” and his incredible ordeal. He talks about what it takes to survive solitary confinement and imprisonment with hardened extremists, far from home and family—offering unparalleled insights into the motivations of insurgents. He explains how press freedoms and ethics are threatened by states and endangered by media organizations. Mohamed also speaks of the role NGOs and human rights advocates play for journalists and prisoners of conscience.

Platform Plus

Panelist/In Conversation

A truly unique experience, engage Mohamed for a fascinating discussion on a wide range of critical issues including revolution, incarceration, Al-Jazeera, Islamist politics, press freedoms & more.

Awards

2016
Writers Union of Canada | Freedom to Read Award

2015
International Association of Press Clubs | Freedom of Speech Award

2012
Tom Renner Investigative Reporting Award | Death in the Desert

2011
Peabody Award | Coverage of the Arab Spring uprisings

  • He is a born storyteller. He was engaging and funny yet with a message that terrified the heck out of the majority of participants as the links to his story and what is going on today is eerie.  Everyone I talked to said he was the highlight of the convention for them. 

    - North Central Teachers Convention
  • The response to your talk has been overwhelming and you were the highlight of our conference.

    - Executive Director, Ontario Library Association

Summary Profile

Mohamed Fahmy spent 438 days in an Egyptian prison— accused of conspiring with the Muslim Brotherhood (designated as a terrorist group) and of fabricating news broadcast on Al Jazeera. He was unjustly convicted and imprisoned in the Tora maximum-security prison where he spent a month in solitary confinement with a broken shoulder. He was pardoned of all charges and released in 2015 following international outcry over the charges against him

Onstage, he talks about Middle East politics, ISIS, free speech, and the ongoing struggle for universal human rights.

Mohamed escaped from Kuwait with his family during the first Gulf War in 1990. He entered Iraq on the first day of the war in 2003 with the Los Angeles Times. He spent 15 years reporting from the Middle East and North Africa for CNN, BBC, and Al Jazeera English, and completed a one-year stint in 2007 with the International Committee for the Red Cross protecting the rights of political prisoners, the missing, and refugees in Beirut-Lebanon.

In 2011 he won the Peabody award for his reporting with CNN and its coverage of the Arab Spring. In the same year he won the Tom Renner investigative reporting award for producing the documentary Death in the Desert. The film was part of the CNN Freedom Project series that exposed the organized crime rings operating the illegal human trafficking of Sub-Saharan Africans to Israel through Sinai-Egypt.

He co-authored Egyptian Freedom Story, a photo documentary of the January 25 revolution of 2011. In September 2013, he accepted a new post as the Al Jazeera English Egypt Bureau Chief.Upon his arrival to Vancouver, Mohamed Fahmy accepted a job as an adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia.

Upon his arrival to Vancouver, Mohamed Fahmy accepted a job as an adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia.

In 2015, Mohamed co-founded the Fahmy Foundation for Free Press in 2015 to help journalists imprisoned worldwide, and he is currently a member of the Board of Directors for Canadian Journalists for Freedom of Expression.

In January 2016 he collaborated with Amnesty International and various Canadian lawyers in writing a 12-point protection charter to improve consular services and better protect Canadians and journalists imprisoned or risking arrest abroad, and presented it to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

His new book The Marriott Cell, documenting his wrongful incarceration in Egypt. The book contains exclusive interviews he conducted behind bars with political prisoners and extremists that provides the reader with rare insights on the terrorism dominating our headlines. It is currently being be developed into a feature film by The Development Partnership in the United Kingdom.