new speakers | January 04, 2016

Media in the Age of Terror: Introducing New Speaker Mohamed Fahmy

“Your mind in that cell is probably your worst enemy,” says Mohamed Fahmy is his TEDxVancouver on-stage interview (embedded above). It's a story that has been covered around the world: after a successful career as a journalist, and after accepting the post of Al Jazeera English Bureau Chief in Cairo, Fahmy was falsely accused of being a member of the Muslim Brotherhood—a group designated as a terrorist organization by the Egyptian government. He and his colleagues were imprisoned in the Scorpion maximum security prison in Egypt for over 400 days, living with members of the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda, and ISIS.

After massive international outcry against his sentence, Fahmy was finally pardoned of all charges in Sept. 2015. Now, in his riveting keynotes, Fahmy discusses the media trial of the century and his incredible ordeal. He talks about what it takes to survive solitary confinement and imprisonment with hardened extremists, far from home and family—offering unparalleled insights into the motivations of insurgents. He explains how press freedoms and ethics are threatened by states and endangered by media organizations. And he speaks of the role NGOs and human rights advocates play for journalists and prisoners of conscience.

While still in prison, Fahmy founded the Fahmy Foundation for Free Press: an NGO and non-profit dedicated to supporting journalists imprisoned worldwide. Upon his release, he appeared at the World Forum of Democracy in Strasbourg days after the Paris attacks and met with the Secretary General of the European Council. He now teaches at UBC in the Centre for Applied Ethics.

Today we are witness to an unprecedented era of attacks on journalists, freedom of the press, and human rights. Reporters are now targets of governments and extremists alike, with little neutral ground to operate freely. Fahmy’s reflections on free speech, the war on terror, and the role of objective reporting are thus invaluable as we work to uphold integrity and protect civil liberties for all.

To book free speech activist Mohamed Fahmy as the keynote speaker for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency speakers bureau.

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