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Egyptian pro-democracy blogger dies at 32 - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Egyptians hold national flags during a rally in Tahrir Square, in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014. Egyptian riot police have fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi protesting as the country marks the third anniversary of the 2011 uprising, as supporters of the military gathered in rival rallies in other parts of the capital, many of them urging military chief Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, the man who removed Morsi, to run for president. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

Egyptians hold national flags during a rally in Tahrir Square, in Cairo, Egypt, on Saturday, January 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

London, Asharq Al-Awsat—Egyptian journalist, blogger and pro-democracy activist Bassem Sabry has died at the age of 32, reportedly falling from a balcony on Monday, according to security officials.

A prominent young voice during the revolution that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak in 2011, Sabry was a well-known columnist and analyst fluent in several languages. He wrote mainly in English and Arabic for publications including Foreign Policy, the Huffington Post, Al-Monitor, Bikya Masr and Al-Masry Al-Youm, and on his blog, An Arab Citizen.

Shortly after the news of his death tributes began to pour in online, especially on social media website Twitter, where Sabry was particularly active during the 2011 uprising and after.

Egyptian Nobel laureate and former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency Mohamed El-Baradei—with whom Sabry founded the liberal Al-Dostour party where he also worked for a time as a strategist—tweeted: “I ask all the revolutionary youth to pray for mercy and forgiveness for . . . a noble person whom we have lost at a time when we really needed him. Goodbye, Bassem Sabry.”

Tributes also poured in from other journalists and bloggers. Foreign Policy contributor Eric Trager tweeted, “My friend @Bassem_Sabry was a great Egyptian patriot,” adding that he “was a voice of reason during unreasonable times. He was analytical, compassionate, & had a great sense of humor. RIP.” While the BBC’s Lyse Douset wrote that she was “Very sad to hear of sudden death @Bassem_Sabry Big smile . . . big heart.”

Despite clearly gravitating toward the liberal end of the political spectrum, Sabry was well known and popular for not letting his political views skew his analyses of events in Egypt and the region. Middle East analyst and commentator H. A. Hellyer wrote on Twitter: “At a time when Egypt sorely needed voices that rejected destructive polarisation and mutual hatred, Bassem was one of the few that insisted on standing for far loftier principles.”

His funeral will take place on Wednesday at the Mostafa Mahmoud mosque in Cairo’s Mohandiseen district.