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The Story

From the shackles of prison, to the freedom of words

   Abdelrahman ElGendy is an Egyptian writer and human rights activist based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was a former six-year political prisoner in Egypt. Arrested at 17 and released at 24, ElGendy started and earned a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering from Ain Shams University while in prison.  

   He is a Dietrich fellow at the University of Pittsburgh's Nonfiction Writing MFA, a Heinz fellow at Pitt's Global Studies Center, a 2021 Logan Nonfiction fellow, an awardee of the 2023 Katharine Bakeless Nason Award in Nonfiction at Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and a finalist for the 2021 Margolis Award for Social Justice Journalism.

   ElGendy's writing appears in the Washington Post, New Lines Magazine, the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (TIMEP), Mada Masr, Raseef 22, AlManassa, and elsewhere.  

His writing is engaged with counter-narratives of history, the role of writing and art as forms of resistance, and how oppressed individuals preserve their identities in the face of erasure.

   ElGendy advocates for the release of Egyptian political prisoners both domestically and internationally.He has collaborated with prominent human rights organizations like Amnesty International and the Freedom Initiative, participating in campaigns and delivering talks on his story and the plight of Egyptian political prisoners. 

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