Iyad El-Baghdadi is a writer, human rights activist, and career entrepreneur.
In 2011, with the Arab Spring uprisings, Iyad began tweeting about the Egyptian revolution, translating statements, chants, and videos from Arabic to English, which allowed the international audience to understand what was happening. In February 2011 he translated Asmaa Mahfouz’s now-famous pre-revolution call for Egyptians to go down and protest. This video collected over a million views, and Iyad’s translation became the standard in literature documenting the revolution.
After March 2011 he became well-known for his The Arab Tyrant’s Manual, a collection of satirical tweets poking fun at tyrants in trouble. The list became so popular that within a few weeks it had already been translated into 13 languages. The hashtag #ArabTyrantManual continues to be active and relevant today.
Iyad is a stateless Palestinian born and raised in the United Arab Emirates. In April 2014 he was summoned by the Immigration department in his town of Ajman and informed of an expulsion order against him. No reasons were given for his expulsion and there was no process for appeal. He was then deported to Malaysia whilst his wife was seven months pregnant. His baby son was born while he was stranded in Malaysia.
Iyad's most important work is The Arab Spring Manifesto, a two-volume book detailing his vision of an Islamic libertarianism which he envisions to be a potential post-Arab Spring ideology. The book is due to be published soon.
For further information, please see the article entitled Meet the Arab spring activist deported by the UAE who is now speaking out by Sophia Jones for the Huffington Post.