Leaders for Democracy

The Project on Middle East Democracy since 2012 has presented the POMED Leaders for Democracy Award to individuals who exemplify the goals and principles that inspire our work. Each of these distinguished individuals has made exceptional efforts to challenge the authoritarian status quo in the Middle East and North Africa and to stand up for democratic values. Through human rights promotion and civic engagement, these leaders have advanced the rule of law, leadership in government, and literature and the arts. With their courage, perseverance, and creativity, our awardees are advancing the goal of a more democratic region and inspiring others to support this important cause.

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Previous recipients of this award include prominent Middle East and North African activists, journalists, authors, and filmmakers such as Lina Attalah, Aya Hijazi, and Gamal Eid of Egypt; Maziar Bahari of Iran; Aboubakr Jamaï and Ali Anouzla of Morocco; Amna Guellali and Amira Yahyaoui of Tunisia; Can Dündar of Turkey; and many others. In addition, we have honored American supporters of democracy such as United States Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Todd Young (R-IN), Ambassador Michael McFaul; scholars Haleh Esfandiari and Sarah Chayes; author Hisham Matar; and journalist Leila Fadel.

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