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As the former "executive director of the US-based Voices for a Democratic Egypt, Dina Guirguis advocates for democratic change in Egypt. She views this goal as critical not only for the Egyptian people, but also for the Middle East region as a whole – and for the United States’ interests, as well. Voices for a Democratic Egypt attempts to reach US policymakers to put forth a call for democracy in Egypt, and it also strives to counter the Egyptian regime’s policy line with its own news releases on the state of democracy and human rights in Egypt. Through research, dialogue, and advocacy, Voices for a Democratic Egypt works toward liberalization and the protection of human rights in Egypt.
"After coming to the United States to attend Wellesley College and receiving her BA in political science in 1999, Dina returned to Egypt, where she discovered her passion for democracy activism. She worked for Saad Eddin Ibrahim’s Ibn Khaldoun Center for Development Studies, which promoted minority rights in Egypt and the Arab world and led campaigns to educate citizens about their civil and political rights, among other activities. But when Dina visited Amman, Jordan, in 2000 to attend a conference on the center’s behalf, she learned that the Egyptian government had shut down the Ibn Khaldoun Center and arrested her colleagues – and that if she returned to Egypt, she too would be arrested.
"Believing that sovereignty of law is one of the key democratic elements that is missing in Egypt, Dina returned to the United States to attend law school at Vanderbilt. After getting her JD in 2004, she worked as a lawyer, but realized that that wasn’t where her true passion was. When Dina’s colleague Saad Eddin Ibrahim was sentenced to prison for “defaming Egypt” in 2008, Dina was motivated to return to her democracy activism and founded Voices for a Democratic Egypt in the same year.
"Through Voices for a Democratic Egypt, Dina aims her message of democratic change for Egypt at decision makers in both the United States and Egypt. In order to strengthen this message, she has united with diverse organizations; for example, in February 2009, she joined with organizations like the Coptic Assembly of America and the International Quranic Center to send a letter of protest to Hosni Mubarak when he visited the US."