Notable Egyptian-Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy has spent his career in conflict zones covering major stories for outlets including New York Times and CNN. However, in December 2013, during his time as Egypt Bureau Chief of Al Jazeera International, Fahmy made international headlines when he and two colleagues were arrested by Egyptian authorities and charged with falsifying news and conspiring with the banned fundamentalist group, the Muslim Brotherhood. He was incarcerated for 438 days alongside ISIS terrorists and jihadists, during which time Egypt’s government faced mounting pressure to release the three journalists. In September 2015, the government pardoned Fahmy, allowing him to return to Canada, where he joined UBC’s School of Journalism for a term as a visiting professor. How did his incarceration change him personally as well as his views on media control and press freedoms? What role did diplomatic relations play in this case?

Mohamed Fahey shares his story with the UBC alumni community. Moderated by Margaret Gallagher, host of CBC Radio One’s Hot Air.

Master Mind Master Class is a new alumni UBC event series, offering an unprecedented look into the minds of modern thinkers making a unique impact on the world, and the lessons they’ve learned.

Speaker biography

Mohamed Fahmy is an Egyptian-born Canadian, award-winning journalist and author. Fahmy started his career covering the Iraq War in 2003 for the Los Angeles Times and has worked extensively in the Middle East, mostly for CNN. Most recently he covered the Arab Spring. In September 2013, he accepted a new post as the Al Jazeera English Bureau Chief based in Egypt. Four months into the job he was arrested and wrongly imprisoned on trumped up terrorism charges for 438 days. Upon his release last September, he joined UBC as an adjunct professor and started the Fahmy Foundation to provide financial assistance and advocate for journalists imprisoned worldwide. He is currently working on a new book about his experience.

This event took place on Tuesday, January 19, 2016, 6:30-9:00pm in the Jack Poole Hall, Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre.


Select Articles and Books Available at UBC Library

Cohen-Almagor, R. (2001). Speech, media, and ethics: The limits of free expression : Critical studies on freedom of expression, freedom of the press, and the public’s right to know. New York;Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire;: Palgrave. [Available at Koerner Library stacks – KM204 .C645 2001]

Committee, P. J. (2013). Attacks on the Press: Journalism on the World’s Front Lines Bloomberg Press [Imprint]. [Link]

Kesterton, W. H. (1967). History of Journalism in Canada McGill-Queen’s University Press. [Link]

Seib, P. M. (2012). Al Jazeera English: Global News in a Changing World (1st ed.). New York: Palgrave Macmillan. [Available at Koerner Library stacks – PN1992.92.A393 A43 2012]


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