Aya Hijazi

Aya Hijazi (@_AyaHijazi_) is the co-director of Belady: An Island For Humanity. Following the 2011 Tahrir uprising, Hijazi and her husband Mohamed Hasanien started a nongovernmental organization in Cairo, The Belady Foundation, to address the plight of street children in Egypt and advocate for children’s rights. In May 2014, police raided the foundation and detained Hijazi, Hasanien, and several colleagues on fabricated charges. After three years in detention, the defendants were acquitted of all charges. She and Hasanien returned to the US and re-established Belady with a mission to defend human rights and freedoms. Hijazi has published in the Washington Post, and received the Leaders for Democracy award from the Project on Middle East Democracy. She is pursuing a master’s degree in public administration at the Harvard Kennedy School.

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