Iyad el-Baghdadi, the founder and President of Kawaakibi Foundation, is an internationally recognized Arab Spring activist and an expert on the topic of Islam & liberty. He rose to prominence in the aftermath of the Arab revolutions of 2011 before being summarily arrested and forcibly exiled from his country in April 2014.
Today he is recognized among the most influential and prominent Arab voices online. He writes regularly for both Norwegian and international media, and his Twitter account received 165 million views in 2016. Iyad is a fellow at Norwegian liberal think tank Civita and board member at Munathara, the Arab debate NGO. He lives in Oslo, Norway, where he has been granted political asylum.
Ahmed Gatnash is the co-founder and VP of Operations at Kawaakibi Foundation. He experienced his political awakening as a young British-Libyan witnessing the Arab Spring. He has a track record of training and activism with civil society organisations in the UK, and has held positions at the largest national representative body for students in Europe, as well as the umbrella organisation for UK Muslim students.
Gatnash has been working with El Baghdadi since 2013, co-authoring the Arab Spring Manifesto and researching Islamic libertarianism and reform. A mechanical engineer by training, he previously worked in R&D developing patentable innovative technologies for startups and Fortune 500 companies.
Kholoud Sasi is the creative director of the Kawaakibi Foundation. Kholoud is a creative designer with a background in communications and marketing and was previously communications director for a leading women’s rights organization.