My Biography

>> 05 December 2010

- I was born in 1 October 1985, in Asyut, one of the main cities in Upper Egypt. I lived in Asyut until I moved to Cairo in 2009. In May 2012, I moved to live in Germany, and stayed there until I came to the United States in September 2014.
- My family are Coptic Orthodox Christians. They raised me as a religious Christian. I was extremely religious in my teenage. But in 2007, after lots of readings and researches, I became an atheist.
- I had my school in the Catholic Franciscan school, then my High School at the protestant Al-Salam (Peace) school. In 2009, I got my Bachelor in Veterinary medical Sciences from Asyut University. In Autumn 2010, I started one year post-graduate diploma of law in Cairo University (in intellectual property rights), but I was detained two weeks before the exams, and never finished it. I studied also Public Policy for two years in a small German University.
- I consider myself a secular Liberal. I support free market economy. I started my politic activism in late 2005. Since that time, I’ve joined several liberal parties and movements. In 9 April 2009, I started “No to Compulsory Military Service Movement (NoMilService)” as the first Antimilitarist Peace movement in Egypt. Until now, it’s the only peace movement in Egypt. In Oct 2010, I became the first Conscientious Objector in Egypt after refusing to serve in the obligatory military service. My movement is still active in Egypt against the obligatory military service, and internationally promoting peace and reconciliation in middle east.
- I was detained five times in Egypt. The first was in 19 Feb 2009, when I was distributing pamphlets in Asyut University against secret services authority in public universities. Then in 13 June 2010 with my brother Mark, while protesting in downtown Cairo against the brutality of Egyptian Police. The third was in 12 November 2010, after I refused to serve in the Egyptian army because of my pacifist beliefs. Then in 4 Feb 2011, while participating in the revolution. I was tortured and sexually harassed at that time. Finally in 28 March 2011, because of my writings criticizing the army. I was military tried, sentenced to 3 years in prison. But after 10 months (302 days) in prison, 130 days of hunger strike, and a huge international campaign, I was released in 24 January 2012. After I left Egypt, Egyptian authorities accused me with blasphemy in Oct 2012 in a reaction to my atheist writings.
- I started blogging in 2006. Since then, I wrote over 300 articles. My blog is available in Arabic and English. It used to have a Hebrew section in the past. Over than 100 thousand fans follow me on Twitter and Facebook, and over two million people have visited only my blog. Lots of my articles were published in famous newspapers like the Wall Street Journal, CNN, Foreign Policy Magazine and The Daily Beast.
- My first book was published online in 2011 during my imprisonment. It has the same name of my movement “No to Compulsory Military Service”. I’m working now on my second book.
- In April 2009, I started the first Anti-militarist movement in the history of Egypt. In Summer 2010, I was the first Egyptian Atheist, residing in Egypt, to speak openly to media about his atheist beliefs. In Oct 2010, I became the first Conscientious Objector to the military service in Egypt. In Aug 2011, I was the first Egyptian to boycott military tribunals. In Dec 2012, I was the first Egyptian opposition figure to visit Israel in a peace mission.
- I gave over than hundred speeches in Egypt, Israel, USA, and Europe, in topics related to Middle East, Democracy, Peace, and Human Rights.
- I was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 2012 and for Reporters Without Borders Netizen Prize 2012. I received The First Freedom Award in 2011 from The International Federation of Liberal Youth (IFLRY), was chosen as the Honorary Writer of 2012 by mideastyouth.com, and was chosen among the best Egyptian bloggers by The Daily Beast in January 2013.
- There are several documentaries focused on my activism, including Petr Lom’s Back To The Square [2012].
- I speak Arabic and English. In the past, I studied French, German, Hebrew, Latin, Coptic, Ancient Egyptian and Ancient Greek, but I can't speak any of them.
- My hobbies include reading, writing, photography, drawing, art, watching movies, body building, swimming and dancing.
- You can find a list of my English articles here.
- You can contact me through my Twitter account, or my Facebook page.

Some of my Pictures












12 comments:

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: http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/egypts-christians-facing-the-fate-of-egyptian-jews/. 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

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