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The Story

Abdelrahman ElGendy is an Egyptian writer, translator and activist from Cairo based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A former six-year political prisoner in Egypt between 2013 and 2020, Abdelrahman writes about counter-narratives, state-manufactured archival silences, and abolishing empathy as an extension of colonial violence.


Arrested at 17 and released at 24, he started and earned a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering from Ain Shams University while in prison.  


A Samir Kassir Freedom of Press Award winner, Abdelrahman is a 2024-25 Steinbeck Fellow at San Jose State University, a 2022-23 Dietrich fellow at the University of Pittsburgh’s Nonfiction Writing MFA, and a Heinz fellow at Pitt's Global Studies Center. His work has received awards or scholarships from Logan Nonfiction Program, Tin House Workshop, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Sewanee Writers' Conference, and Community of Writers Workshop. He is the winner of the 2024 Courage to Write Award by the de Groot Foundation, the 2024 Turow-Kinder Award in Fiction, and was a finalist for the 2021 and 2023 Margolis Award for Social Justice Journalism.

His writing appears in the Washington Post, Foreign Policy, Guernica, AGNI, Mizna, The Markaz Review, Truthout, Mada Masr, and elsewhere. 

He is represented by Jin Auh of the Wylie Agency. 

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