My Biography

>> 05 December 2010

Author, Activist and Peacemaker
Washington, DC

Maikel Nabil is a 30-year-old peace activist from Egypt. He has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and for the Reporters Without Borders Netizen Prize. He received the First Freedom Award in 2011 from the International Federation of Liberal Youth, was chosen as Honorary Writer of 2012 by, and was named one of the best Egyptian bloggers by The Daily Beast in January 2013. He has given over one hundred speeches in Egypt, Israel, the United States, and Europe on topics related to the Middle East, democracy, peace, and human rights. He currently lives in the United States, where he serves as a Penn Kemble Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and as a Digital Media Fellow at Fission Strategy. 

In 2009, Maikel founded “NoMilService” as the first -- and still the only -- grassroots peace organization in Egypt. In 2010, he became the first ever conscientious objector in Egypt after refusing to serve in the armed forces. NoMilService remains active in Egypt, and continues to promote peace and reconciliation in the Middle East.

Maikel was detained five times in Egypt for his political activities. In 2009, he was arrested while distributing pamphlets at Asyut University condemning the control exerted over academia by state secret services. In 2010, with his brother Mark, Maikel was detained while protesting in downtown Cairo against the brutality of Egyptian police. Later in 2010, after refusing to serve in the Egyptian army, he was arrested a third time. In 2011, while participating in the January 25 revolution, he was tortured and sexually assaulted. Finally in March 2011, he was tried in military court and sentenced to three years in prison for his writings critical of the army. 

After 10 months (302 days) in prison, and a 130-day hunger strike, a huge international campaign to “Free Maikel” helped to secure his release on January 24, 2012. During his imprisonment, Maikel received support from the White House, the US State Department, the European Parliament, the German Parliament, and the Canadian parliament. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights considered his detention arbitrary, and demanded his immediate release. Amnesty International declared him a prisoner of conscience, and campaigned for his freedom.

After he left the country, Egyptian authorities charged him with blasphemy for his atheist writings. In December 2012, he became the first Egyptian opposition figure to visit Israel on a peace mission. Because of that visit, the Government of Egypt has charged him with treason.

Maikel began blogging in 2006 in Arabic and English. Some of his more than 300 articles have been translated into German, Hebrew, Dutch, Danish, Italian and other languages. He now has over 100,000 followers on Facebook and Twitter, and over five million people have visited his blogs. He has authored and been featured in articles published in the Wall Street Journal, Foreign Policy, the Washington Post, the Christian Science Monitor, and The Daily Beast, and has appeared on CNN, BBC, Deutsche Welle, France 24 and Al Jazeera. Maikel speaks Arabic and English and some Spanish. Several documentaries have been produced about his activism, including Petr Lom’s Back to the Square (2012)


Anonymous,  12/04/2011, 17:18  

مع اني عرفتك من نبأ اعتقالك و سجنك (الذي قد يطول الى ثلاث سنوات) لكن قد تقرا هذا في يوم من الايام. قرات مقالتك التي تتحدث فيها عن اسباب احترامك او حبك لاسرائيل , و انا معك في الكثير مما قلته لكن ... كل ما قلته هو تعامل الحكومات الاسرائيلية مع مواطنيها و ليس مع الفلسطينيين اصحاب الارض .. هذه مسالة , المسالة الثانية حضرتك تدعو الى الغاء الخدمة العسكرية الالزامية في مصر و تمدح اسرائيل و معجب بها في نفس الوقت مع ان الخدمة العسكرية في اسرائيل الزامية على الكل اناث و ذكور مع بقاء عدد كبير جدا (الاغلبية) ضمن قوات الاحتياط اي ان اسرائيل دولة عسكرية بالكامل و هذا سبب قوي لقوتها العسكرية , فالمفروض ان تدعو الى عسكرة مصر و الدول العربية بدلا من دعوتك لالغاء الخدمة العسكرية الالزامية على الذكور فقط .

Anonymous,  12/04/2011, 20:52  

انت لاتخفي حبك لإسرائيل هذه الدولة العنصرية الدموية ثم تقول انك ليبرالي. هذه تكتة

Anonymous,  06/10/2011, 09:59  

اقول لك انك تعانى من بعض الامراض النفسية خصوصا عقدة الاضطهاد و عقد النقص حيث انك حظيت فى طفولتك بعدم اهتمام من المحيطين بك و خصوصا من الاناث و لم تستطع ان تقيم علاقات طبيعية معهم فى فترة مراهقتك فلجائت الى كل ما انت فية الان لتعوض عن النقص فى داخلك من خلال لفت الانظار لك و ان تجعل من نفسك محط اهتمام اخيرا اقول لك انك زوبعة فى فنجان

Anonymous,  02/01/2012, 11:01  

don't lose hope.

Anonymous,  23/01/2012, 09:43  

Alhamdulillah I read that you are free now? Hope it is true. Hope you are getting well. May God bless you. Best wishes and salams from Germany... Sarah

Anonymous,  23/01/2012, 09:45  

ok now I see that you are an atheist, so pls don't be upset about my best wishes. I wish you then the best regardless where it may come from (nature, a higher being or just a belief in yourself). :)

Andrew Lyall 30/01/2012, 18:25  

Great news that you are now free! I was/am so glad to hear it. You are a brave and noble example and a witness to freedom of speech and conscience. How lucky Egypt is to have young people like you, who are prepared to suffer for the rights of others.

Anonymous,  07/04/2012, 14:59  

You are a very brave young man. I cannot tell you how much I admire you. I wish you success. I hope your great country will become the tolerant, liberal society you and other courageous Egyptians are striving for.

Anonymous,  19/04/2012, 23:09  

You are amazing! Thank you! Your story has brought a tear to my eye!

Anonymous,  25/04/2012, 22:06  

I am from Germany. You are not alone Maikel!

Anthony 01/10/2012, 01:17  

Bravo on your bravery sir. I just across this piece: Seeing as how you are an atheist, with a strong libertarian bent, it makes me appreciate your work all the more. What a breath of fresh air from the mind-boggling double standards held by liberals (and many libertarians) in America, which never ceases to rail against all organized religion...except Islam, of course. The inexplicable, knee-jerk disdain for Christianity, it goes without saying, is not exactly conducive to open and honest debate, to say the least. So, again, hats off to your courage for independent thinking Maikel. Keep doin' what you do.

Anonymous,  25/12/2012, 16:12  

hafdal a2olak kosomak le7ad ma amot :D 3ashan enta fe3lan kosomak :D

Shijun Lin 17/06/2015, 09:44  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
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