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Public Figures of the Middle East and North Africa

Loujain al-Hathloul, The Brave Face of Resistance in Saudi Arabia Loujain al-Hathloul is a brave young woman who believes in change and rights to all. Which is perceived by the authorities of Saudi Arabia as an act of terrorism. Tunisian Comic Blog Wins Fans Abroad The blog won the Best Electronic Publication award at the CairoComix festival two years in a row: for Tawahoch in 2016 and Bombyx Mori in 2017. It was also a finalist for the Mahmoud... Ahmed Douma, Egypt’s Repeatedly Jailed Activist Every ruling party in Egypt since Hosni Mubarak’s National Democratic Party has at one time or another arrested 26-year-old Ahmed Douma, a law student at Tanta University and an activist and blogger. He is... Profile: Jordan’s Prince Zeid bin Raad al-Hussein He has been outspoken about the wave of fascism and religious radicalism around the world. He accused US President Donald Trump of breaking taboos by suggesting bringing back torture, and warned world powers against...

The Middle East and North Africa is an arena where public figures play a vital role in crystalizing the challenges by which the region has been encountered. Some public figures fade, while others brightly shine in the political, cultural, and social arenas. Some public personalities might have an exceptional impact, whether it’s bad or good. In this special file, Fanack provides readers with many interesting and sometimes controversial profiles about politicians, musicians, activists of the region.

Politicians are persons of great value in society, and they differ in terms of characteristics, their ideological backgrounds, their tendencies towards democracy or authoritarianism. There is also a difference in their social contexts (cultural context, social class, history, gender, family structure and religion). In turn, these nuances result in various consequences that have an impact on performance and decision-making.

With all its conflicts and variances, the Middle East and North Africa region has a big list of politicians that are relevant to the previous description. This list includes the Islamic totalitarian  Rached Ghannouchi, the Kurdish-Iraqi leader  Masoud Barzani, the Libyan savior for some and destroyer for others  Fayez al-Sarraj, the close ally of Iran  Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, the Secretary-General of the Shiite Lebanese party “Hezbollah”  Hassan Nasrallah and others.

In the same context, human rights activists play a decisive role to protect and respect public and individual freedoms and strengthen the rule of law to ensure the security and stability of their countries.

Those with exceptional impact also might face serious violations and problems. This might come as a consequence of defective executing of legislations. Furthermore, those who criminalize these activists and violate them may also get away with it. Thus, they play a very high price for the sake of establishing rules and laying the foundations for the transition of their societies from their miserable situation to the ranks of civilized societies.

Among these freedom fighters in the Middle East and North Africa; “Omar Barghouti”, the peaceful resistance pioneer and Palestine’s Nelson Mandela, the Iranian “Nasrin Sotoudeh”, the Moroccan “Nabila Mounib”, the Turkish “Ahmet Sik”, the Bahraini Nabil Ragab and many others.

Ingenuity, with all its forms, is considered a bridge over the gap between the ideal and reality. Thus, the creative person is one with exceptional action (Dreamy, Rebellious, and Radical) and also exceptional impact. He expresses the hopes and wounds of his society through creative patterns, taking any form, such as music, singing, poetry, or even art … etc.

The Middle East and North Africa region has long been rich with these creative public figures with exceptional impact. Among these faces in our time; the singer and songwriter “Emel Mathlouthi”, the voice of the Egyptian revolution “Hamza Namira”, the new strong voice in French literature “Layla Solaimani”, and the Lebanese conservative and controversial singer “Julia Boutros”.

The exceptional impact of these faces also emerges from difference intellectual stripes and political orientations, such as the Israeli “Mordechai Vanunu” who has been called by some “a peace activist” and “a traitor” by others. The list includes also the Algerian blogger “Merzoug Touati” who is imprisoned for accusation of espionage, and “Samar Badawi” who is the model for Saudi women refusing legal guardianship.

To know more about all these public figures and more, kindly read through this special report made by Fanack. We seek through this file to define the impact of the individual on society and to monitor the problems facing the prominent personalities in the Middle East and North Africa or induced by them.

Loujain al-Hathloul is a brave young woman who believes in change and rights to all. Which is perceived by the authorities of Saudi Arabia as an act of terrorism.
The blog won the Best Electronic Publication award at the CairoComix festival two years in a row: for Tawahoch in 2016 and Bombyx Mori in 2017. It was also a finalist for the Mahmoud Kahil Award in Lebanon.
Every ruling party in Egypt since Hosni Mubarak’s National Democratic Party has at one time or another arrested 26-year-old Ahmed Douma, a law student at Tanta University and an activist and blogger. He is currently in prison, a...
He has been outspoken about the wave of fascism and religious radicalism around the world. He accused US President Donald Trump of breaking taboos by suggesting bringing back torture, and warned world powers against undermining ci...
“I felt strongly - even at that age - that with an education I could become anybody and do anything I wanted,” writes Yemeni film director Khadija al-Salami in her book The Tears of Sheba. At the age of 11, she was married off...
In recent years, Al-Qalaa has endeavored not only to present herself as an artist whose main job is to sing, but she has also taken initiatives and participated in activities that contribute to public social work. This includes vi...
By tracing Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah biography and political path, Kuwaiti politics can easily be predicted to continue internally and externally as it was under the late Emir.
However, the Royal Family Council decided to respect the sultan’s will, which named his cousin Haitham as his chosen successor. Article 4 of the White Book states: ‘The system of governance is Sultani, hereditary in the male d...
Salah shies away from politics and seems to want to avoid problems with the state. He donated 5 million Egyptian pounds ($285,000) to the public Tahya Masr (‘long live Egypt’) fund that is used for large ‘national’ governm...
Bensalah Chaqroun could inherit her father’s business instead of her male siblings. In other words, she has succeeded in fighting patriarchy, which is pervasive in Morocco and internalized by both men and women, especially in th...
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