Posted by: r.m. | April 30, 2014

A friend, a thinker, remembered. Bassem Sabry.

I want to pause.

We have lost a good man, with a good heart and a strong mind. A hopeful man.

On April 29, analyst, writer, and an essential voice covering Egypt since the 2011 uprising, Bassem Sabry, passed away. He was 31. His death has seen an outpouring of condolences and remembrances on Twitter. A regular contributor to Al Monitor, as well as being published in The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, Al Masry Al Youm, and more, he was a prolific writer, whose work at once gave invaluable insight into the ongoing Egyptian crisis, and was proof of his love for his country.”

For those of you who know him, you will appreciate these words. For those of you who did not get the fortune to meet with him and talk with him and share in his energy and laughter and beautiful wit, these words will give you a glimpse of our loss. Here is a eulogy written by his friend and colleague, Mohamed El Dahshan.  


“Beyond mourning a dear friend who left far too soon, I also grieve losing what could have been. Many will say that Bassem could have had a brilliant political career – perhaps so. But he undoubtedly had so much to give. I am sad for a country that he loved deeply, for a future that needed him, and for all those who will never get the chance to meet him. The loss is personal and collective. And it’s infinitely difficult to process. 

Here’s my random message to you all, and it’s a prayer: may you be as as kind, as smart, and as loved, as Bassem Sabry. There’s nothing better.”

And here are Bassem Sabry’s own words of wisdom, written when he became 30, a few short years ago, on what he has learned so far. There is much for us to learn in his words.  In English:  and in Arabic.  I cannot choose an excerpt from his words; I would choose them all.

This is how I remember Bassem: his energy, his optimism, his wit, his charm. You can get a sense of it in his words, written in 2012:

 I truly remain hopeful not just out of a survivalist need to be hopeful, but also out of true conviction that there is so much to be hopeful for, and so much to be hopeful from.”




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