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Book Review: Alaa Abdel Fattah’s Intimate Collection Carries Message of Compassion

January 25, 2022

  “From my mother, I inherited a stone cake, and, from my father, a prison cell.” – From Graffiti for Two, by Alaa Abdel Fattah and Ahmed Douma Known to many political activists across the Middle East, Alaa Abdel Fattah is an Egyptian political activist, software developer, and blogger. Alaa first rose to prominence during 2006, when he was detained alongside a number of Kefaya protesters during a silent protest by almost one thousand Egyptian judges and hundreds of protestors. The judges and Kefaya members had organized a silent sit-in to call for the independence of the judiciary and their right to completely oversee elections. At the time, the (in)famous hashtag #FreeAlaa was first used, and it has been in continuous use for the last 15 years. The young political voice, one of the few remaining in the country, spent the majority of the last decade in prison, serving time under every president in the last ten years. He continues to be incarcerated today after receiving yet another five-year sentence in December 2021. The judges’ protests was the first of many large-scale demonstrations that led up to the 25 January…

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