Saad Eddin Ibrahim, recipient of the 2008 Danish Pundik Prize, participates in a plenary session of the Agenda for the New Millennium summit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, January 20, 2009 – Wikimedia/Agenda for the New Millennium
CAIRO – 20 April 2018: The Lebanese security authorities deported Egyptian-American academic Saad Eddin Ibrahim to Egypt on Friday over a lecture he gave in Tel Aviv earlier this year, for which he was accused of “normalization with Israel.”
Ibrahim landed in Beirut on Thursday to give a lecture about the future of Arab Spring revolutions, but the Lebanese authorities banned him entry, according to an anonymous Egyptian security source.
The founder of the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies in Cairo boarded an Egyptian airliner and arrived at Cairo International Airport on Friday.
In January, Ibrahim was in Tel Aviv lecturing on how to preserve Israeli-Egyptian relations when a group of students suddenly interrupted him and hurled insults at him as they left. They called him a "traitor" for perpetuating "normalization with Israel."
He has since been under fire by lawmakers and politicians who deemed his visit to Tel Aviv an utter normalization with the Jewish state.
In response, Ibrahim gave his remarks to Israeli channel Makan on the incident, saying that what happened made him both happy and sad; he said he was happy because the young people who interrupted him were ardent about their Arabism and it is actually Arab-Israelis' right to criticize Israel in Israel itself.
"It is funny that they are actually students in the Tel Aviv University, and they still objected my presence at the university; there is contradiction here," Ibrahim said, adding, "However, young people have the right to be angry and express themselves freely."
Who is Saad Eddin Ibrahim?
Eighty-year-old Saad Eddin Ibrahim is an Egyptian-American sociologist and author. He is deemed one of Egypt's leading human rights and democracy activists.
Ibrahim was a strong critic of former President Hosni Mubarak.
Ibrahim founded the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies in Cairo and the Arab Organization for Human Rights. He has been criticized for accepting international funds to promote civil society and election monitoring in Egypt, as well as for suggesting that the United States should condition its aid to Egypt on improvements in the country's human rights record.
In December 2007, Ibrahim worked with the Arab Democracy Foundation in Doha.
In August 2008, Ibrahim was sentenced to two years in prison for "tarnishing Egypt's reputation."
Ibrahim was sentenced to two years in prison for "tarnishing Egypt's reputation"
In 2001, Ibrahim was sentenced to seven years in prison for the same charges, until he won an appeal that got him released in 2003.