Free Galal El-Behairy | Egypt

Galal El-Behairy is an Egyptian poet, lyricist, and activist. Throughout his career, Galal has employed his artistic voice as a nonviolent means of reimagining the future in a time of political tumult. Through his work he has brought up sensitive issues about women’s rights, free expression and the efforts of Egyptian citizens to determine their form of government. He is the author of books Chairs Factory (Masna’a El Karasy) published in 2015 and Colorful Prison (Segn Bel Alwan), 2017. He has written many lyrics for the singer Ramy Essam, among them one of his biggest hits Segn Bel Alwan. Most recently he collaborated on the song Balaha and was planning to publish a book of poetry, both of which caused him to be detained, tortured, and imprisoned unjustly for several months awaiting a court indictment. Galal’s poetry is an inspiring representation of the energy and hope of Egyptian citizens and activists in the past decade, from the chants of protesters challenging authoritarian regimes to the lyrics of songs performed during the Arab Spring in 2011 and after. It is also a cautionary tale of the risks artists take within a state that constantly attempts to repress dissenting voices through censorship and imprisonment.