Abdelrahman ElGendy is an Egyptian writer and journalist based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was a former six-year political prisoner in Egypt. While in prison, ElGendy started and earned a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering from Ain Shams University.
He is a Dietrich fellow at the University of Pittsburgh’s Nonfiction Writing MFA, a 2021 Logan Nonfiction fellow, and a finalist for the 2021 Margolis Award for Social Justice Journalism.
His writing appears in the Washington Post, New Lines Magazine, the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (TIMEP), Mada Masr, and others.
Latest from Abdelrahman ElGendy
The Balaha case has become an allegory for the zero-sum game that revolutionary Egyptian artists face in today’s Egypt: a choice between death, exile, incarceration or silence. Of the group, five were released, one died and only El-Behairy remains behind bars five years later.
Despite the worsening state of human rights in Egypt, the so-called national dialogue recently launched by President Sisi appears to be yielding the intended outcomes for the regime: international legitimacy and assistance, with no accountability.
Anas’ death was a manifestation of the anxiety and terror that have plagued Syrian refugees living in Lebanon in recent weeks, amid an ongoing campaign of arrests and deportations that has prompted many Syrians in the country to change their place of residence to protect themselves and their loved ones.
Egyptians have not taken kindly to Hart’s comments about ancient Egypt, and a viral campaign was launched, calling for the cancellation of the show of the superstar they accused of “blackwashing” and “stealing their history.”
The joint campaigns may not succeed this time around, but that doesn’t change the undeniable fact: A shift is taking place in the women’s rights sphere in the region, one that diversifies the means of holding sexual offenders accountable for their crimes.
Only when I experienced prison myself and grasped the power dynamics did I understand: Prisoners go on hunger strikes not because they cannot resist anymore but because the only act of resistance left to reclaim their body is to destroy it.
The guard snapped at me that he will shoot the picture and take it to the chief intelligence officer, and then I’ll regret not having shut my mouth. I kept my mouth stretched in the widest smile.
In prison, one is not just broken by torture, beatings and violent treatment. It is the continuous, systemic and unrelenting dehumanization that wrecks you in the end.