Hend Nafea – #WhatsYourPeace?

September 22, 2015

When a 21-year old Hend Nafea traveled from her village to Cairo in the early days of the Arab Spring  to join hundreds of thousands of Egyptians demanding an end to 60 years of military rule, she was beaten, arrested, tortured and then charged with attempting to overthrow the government. When she was released after five days, her family locked her up and tried to marry her to a man she didn’t know. She refused and set out alone in a search of justice while the case against her wound its way through the courts.

As Egypt became gripped in an increasingly dangerous power struggle between the military and the Muslim Brotherhood, Nafea found work at a human rights organization where she documented violations against civilians on both sides of the political divide. Luck ran out for her in Egypt in February 2015 when a judge notorious  for his support of the military  sentenced her to life imprison in absentia. She managed to escape before the authorities could incarcerate her.  Today, Nafea is seeking political asylum in the United States while remaining firmly committed to creating a better Egypt.  On September 15, 2015 she received a fellowship at the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington DC. In this position, she will document human rights abuses that have occurred in Egypt since January 2011, with a particular focus on abuses against women.  Hend’s inspiring story is told in the film The Trials of Spring.

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