Iyad el-Baghdadi

Palestinian writer, satirist, and activist

Iyad el-Baghdadi is a Palestinian writer and expert on Islam and political liberties who was born and raised in the United Arab Emirates. He rose to prominence following his diligent reporting of the Arab Spring uprisings and their aftermath. His Twitter account has consistently been ranked as one of the most important social media accounts in the Middle East and has received hundreds of millions of views annually. El-Baghdadi is known for his satirical work, “The Arab Tyrant’s Manual,” which humorously highlights how embattled leaders in the Middle East and North Africa responded to the 2011 uprisings and has since become a podcast series. He has also produced “The Arab Spring Manifesto,” a project that provides a detailed account of his vision for Islamic libertarianism. In 2018, he co-founded the Kawaakibi Foundation, an accelerator that highlights the future of liberty in Muslim communities and in the Arab world. El-Baghdadi was forcibly exiled from his home in the United Arab Emirates in 2014. He now resides in Norway, where he is a resident fellow at Civita, the country’s leading liberal think tank.

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