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TIMEP Announces Selection of Ninth TIMEP Bassem Sabry Democracy Fellow

The Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (TIMEP) is pleased to announce the selection of Solafa Magdy as the ninth recipient of the Bassem Sabry Democracy Fellowship. Solafa’s mandate will focus on women in Egypt’s prisons. Spotlighting the lived experiences of formerly-detained women political prisoners, she will help inform the policy world’s understanding of day-to-day life for women in detention; unpack the social, political, and economic impacts of detention for women, their families, and their societies; and inform policy recommendations that tangibly improve detention conditions, bring about releases and closure of cases, and inform the discourse on deep-rooted, systemic change.

Solafa will participate in a 14-month blended fellowship, through which she will spend the first four months of the fellowship working remotely and the remaining ten months of the fellowship in Washington, DC, while housed at TIMEP’s offices. You can read Solafa’s full bio here.

The Bassem Sabry Democracy Fellowship was established in memory of Egyptian political writer and commentator Bassem Sabry. The fellowship is awarded to a young professional with a background in journalism, international relations, political science, law, or another relevant field who is keen on producing programming that furthers transparent, accountable, and just societies across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Applicants must demonstrate their commitment to furthering the principles of democratic and inclusive change—the values that Bassem promoted during his lifetime and career. TIMEP announced the creation of the eponymous fellowship in May 2014 following Bassem’s passing. A partnership between TIMEP and Atlas Corps to sponsor the fellowship was announced in December 2014. 

Through the Bassem Sabry Democracy Fellowship, early and mid-career advocates and experts from and in the MENA region have the unique opportunity to develop programming and contribute original research and analysis around a topic of their choosing, gain exposure to a network of like-minded organizations and policy influencers, develop a series of practical and critical skills to inform their work, and be integrated as a full-time member of a global policy institute headquartered in the nation’s capital. As the ninth Bassem Sabry Democracy Fellow, Solafa joins a cohort and a community of prior fellows who have conducted critical programming on topics ranging from transitional justice in Tunisia to political organizing by Egyptians in exile. 

Bassem Sabry, a native of Cairo, was a writer and commentator on Egyptian and regional politics. Bassem’s balanced writing and commentary throughout the 2011 Egyptian revolution, following the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, up until his death earned wide praise and attracted a global audience. In addition to publishing articles on his blog, “An Arab Citizen,” Bassem’s work was also featured in local, regional, and international news outlets, including al-Masry al-Youm, Al-Monitor, The Atlantic, and Foreign Policy. 


The Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (TIMEP) is a non-profit (501(c)(3)) that centers localized perspectives in the policy discourse to foster transparent, accountable, and just societies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

For more information regarding TIMEP’s fellowship programming, please check out our website. For general inquiries regarding the Bassem Sabry Fellowship, please contact [email protected]