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LLM, Human Rights, Egyptian Attorney

April 5, 2016

From my early days as a high school student, going on to study law and becoming a lawyer was my driving ambition. Now, as an Egyptian attorney, I have been influenced by many of our politicians as well as professional lawyers, and I seek to enter an LLM program in order to find my voice as an international citizen, in order to promote the integration of a new Egypt with the rest of the world. Over the course of these last 2.5 years living in New York and laboring intensively to improve my English, I have been reflecting upon the breathtaking speed at which events in my country have been moving, in almost cyclical motions through greater levels of freedom followed by more repression. I feel strongly that the future of respect for human rights in Egypt will be closely tied to the extent to which Egyptian societal structures meet with success at building ties with the West. Thus, at the same time that I want to directly promote respect for human rights in my country, I also want to work hard to facilitate the growth of institutional ties between Egypt and America that will help to insure that respect for generations to come.

At the center of my own professional efforts so far have been human rights; women’ rights in particular, and freedom of speech cases. I am deeply troubled by the endemic nature of corruption in Egypt and it is my sincere hope that earning the LLM Degree at XXXX University will provide me with the appropriate tool kit for laboring to help insure responsibility and honesty in government and public administration. As a Liberal Muslim whose training lies in the area of Islamic legislation, I feel that I am well placed to think and write creatively about ways in which we might be able to protect human rights, especially women’s rights, in the face of conservative Islamic initiatives that result from democratic processes.

During the full year that I spent in my hometown as a lawyer for women’s cases in the family court, I became well versed in the numerous ways that Egyptian legal codes are stacked against women. Next, I moved on to work in Cairo, handling many freedom-of-speech and torture cases under the Mubarak regime. Finally, I am among those who have put the greatest investment of time and energy into the Liberties Committee and also the Political Committee of our National Lawyers Association.

I have also enjoyed very much handling cases involving multinational companies in the area of international business law and arbitration.  Working in this area provided a brief respite for me after working with numerous torture cases, thanks to the Mubarak regime, there were a lot of violations of the human rights, and cases of torture. I look to the United States as a world leader and, at least from my perspective as an Egyptian attorney concerned with free speech, a model society, combining freedom with respect for human rights.

Over the course of the last two years, I have watched a new Egypt emerging on the television; since, by the January 2011 Revolution, I was already living in New York. I watched and agonized as more than 1000 Egyptian youth were killed because they were calling for democratic change in peaceful protests. Completing your program at XXU Law School will be a way for me to personally honor them. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart not only for considering my admission to your program but also as a candidate for consideration for the Thomas Buergenthal Scholarship. I feel that I am a strong candidate for a scholarship because I have an established track record in the promotion of human rights in a very critical part of the world. I have established my willingness and determination to be a life-time professional soldier for human rights in my function as an Egyptian attorney deeply involved in the construction of a new Egypt where the human rights of all will be respected. I also feel that I deserve a scholarship because I have worked very hard as both a student and since my student days, when I became a lawyer in Egypt. I have a clear goal to participate in the building of a better society in my country coupled to extensive experience in the defense of women, Egypt’s most vulnerable citizens, to whom I wish to develop a lifetime professional focus on their defense. 

 I hope to build bridges between Egypt and not only the USA, but more specifically, XXU. I hope to learn new ways of teaching law at XXU that I can share with those in my country that are dedicated to legal education. In fact, we need to modernize not only our legal system, but our legal education as well. Clearly, Egypt is engaged in a long term struggle. I both hope and expect Egypt to be successful in the creation of a fully democratic and pluralistic society that respects human rights; but we still have a long way to go.

Images in 2012 on the international news of a woman stripped, beaten, and abused by soldiers near Tahir Square underscores how far we have to go before women’s rights are fully respected. Egyptian society is in very urgent need of the development of a new democratic base that can guarantee full respect for the human rights of everyone, including each and every one of Egypt’s many minority groups, both ethnic and religious, in addition to women. Completing your distinguished LLM Program at XXXX University will help me to realize my ambition to participate in the building of a new, modern, democratic Egypt that can guarantee justice, equality and freedom for all, including the most important guarantee that the woman will be able to get all her rights equally to the man.

I have known about XXXX University since I was a student in college. I profoundly admire your great history in teaching law, both the theoretical as well as the practical side. I also wish very much to take full advantage of your location in the nation’s capital. As someone who hopes to build a future in politics and to become very much engaged at helping to build bridges between Egypt and the United States, your program and its location are both optimal for my preparation to achieve my life goals of helping my country to prosper through respect for law and human rights along with greater insertion into the global economy. I thank you for considering my application to your program and the XXXX Scholarship.

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