Washington, D.C. – In honor of Bassem Sabry, whose remarkable character and skill at his craft made him unique among Egyptian political commentators, the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (TIMEP) has established a fellowship that aims to further the causes and principles that he worked relentlessly to advance throughout his rich, fulfilling life. This Fellowship, intended for young writers and analysts from the Middle East, will provide opportunities for education, exposure, and connection to the academic and policy worlds. TIMEP will begin accepting applications for the Bassem Sabry Democracy Fellowship this fall.
Bassem was known for his careful and meticulous approach to creating sound analysis and his rejection of the easy politics of polarization, exclusion and violence. This is perhaps best proven by the fact that his untimely passing elicited notes of condolence and commemoration from across the Egyptian political spectrum and around the world. In a relatively short period of time, Bassem had acquired the attention—and more importantly, the respect—of an audience larger than that achieved by many who have spent decades in the same field. His work spoke of the possibility of a positive future for Egypt even at the darkest of times, and his voice, while itself irreplaceable, will undoubtedly live on to inspire the work of others.
Bassem acknowledged the importance of his international experiences and how they had shaped his views—“I have seen Europe, America, India, China, and the Arab world. I have seen those who insult the leaders and symbols of their nation in the media in the most developed of states and countries, and I have seen that society accepts it as a reasonable price for freedom.” His belief in the importance of free speech and open dialogue to solve social problems is just one of the ways in which he embodied the best of what became known as the “Arab Spring,” and his death sadly comes when people with such convictions are needed more than ever.
Part of TIMEP’s mission is to amplify and support voices from the Middle East, and while one extraordinary voice has been lost with the passing of Bassem, others who remain less well-known also embody the principles and approaches to dialogue that he held. Due to the generosity of many individuals and organizations, TIMEP’s Bassem Sabry Democracy Fellowship will help such individuals to advance their work and to develop relationships with broader institutional and individual audiences.
Fellows will spend three to six months (according to their own needs and proposed plans) living and working in Washington, DC. They will be able to propose an overall structure and set of goals for their work while here, and TIMEP will provide the necessary logistical, technological, and administrative support to ensure that their Fellowship is successful. TIMEP will also arrange for meetings with individuals in government, NGO, academic, and journalism circles. All housing and transportation costs will be covered by TIMEP, and Fellows will receive a monthly stipend while they are in residence. Further details will be available when applications are open on the TIMEP website.
The Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (TIMEP) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness of democratic transitions in the Middle East through analysis, advocacy, and action.