Sunday, March 24,  2019
Mahmoud "Sandmonkey" Salem

Mahmoud Salem is a blogger, activist, writer and a business development consultant. His blog is the most prominent English-language Egyptian blog, entitled "Rantings of a Sandmonkey". It won the best Middle East and Africa blog awards in 2006 and 2007 and has over 5.5 million unique views, while his Twitter account has over 40,000 followers. His areas of human rights activism have been in freedom of speech, human rights, religious rights, and women's rights.

In 2005, he started the first anti-terrorism demonstration in Cairo and participated in monitoring the Egyptian parliamentary and presidential elections. In 2006, he started the international "Buy Danish" campaign with fellow Jordanian blogger Roba el Assi in order to counter the Danish cartoons boycott movement. He was also the principal organizer of the first Egyptian anti-sexual harassment demonstration and march after the Eid sexual harassment incidents. Incensed by police torturing Egyptian people on videos and sparing them, he and friends collected footage and posted them online, pushing for a public persecution of the police officers who committed those acts and leading to an unprecedented two convictions of police officers.

In 2007, he was a stage speaker at the Atlas Foundation 25th Anniversary Conference, Head of the New Media panel in the Qatar Foundation's first democracy conference and started the project "Tafkir", an Arabic language blogging website to facilitate and promote ideas and dialogue online. In 2008, he was an organizer and a team leader of 8 Egyptian bloggers for the "Egypt blogs America" project, which monitored the US elections and created a documentary film about it. In 2009, he was picked for the Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow conference and the US Islamic Forum conference and started the IRIS social campaign company.

In 2011, he was one of the leading voices of the January 25 revolution that brought down Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. Salem is involved in many development and transparency projects for a better Egypt, his writings have appeared in The Christian Science Monitor, The New York Times, The Daily Star, The Guardian and various online websites.

His blog can be found at and he can be found on Twitter @Sandmonkey


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