Free Khaled Al-Qazzaz

Pre-2011 Egyptian Revolution

After leaving Toronto in 2005, Khaled and Sarah took on a unique education project. Although both their academic backgrounds are in Engineering, Khaled and Sarah have always been passionate about education and the role it plays in uplifting individuals and advancing communities. Khaled took on a leadership role on the school board of Mokatam Language School (MLS) as Vice-chairman while Sarah began working as a teacher at the same school. Khaled founded the international section at MLS, making it the first school in the city of Mokatam to offer both the British and American High-School certificates. 

In addition to striving for high educational standards for students, Khaled also developed a unique training and professional development initiative that allowed teachers to continually enhance their skillset and dedicate themselves towards a model of education that other institutions in Egypt have yet to adapt. Khaled himself enrolled into a Doctorate program in Education at Walden University in Minneapolis, USA, to develop a stronger understanding of education systems and increase his contributions at MLS.  His PhD thesis focuses on how to implement the American curriculum in Eastern societies, in general, and in Egypt specifically.

There is no nation, among the nations that have succeeded in the last 50- 60 years – Japan, Germany, Malaysia – all the countries in the East and West, have not advanced economically, or socially, except until they placed education as a clear priority… It is possible to see a huge renaissance in education within the next year, if all the people work in the same direction
— Khaled Al-Qazzaz, speaking on "Good Morning Egypt", February 21, 2012

Post-2011 Egyptian Revolution

In 2012, after the first democratic elections in Egypt, Khaled began his position as the Secretary to the President for Foreign Relations, where his focus was on foreign relations, human rights and women's rights. Speaking at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington DC in April 2012 (link), Khaled reached out to the international community seeking their help and assistance in enabling Egyptians achieve democratic values. He wanted to find common ground with all Egyptian parties (including minorities, as well as political rivals) to prepare a constitution for the new Egypt. Khaled also supported implementation of human rights laws as well as abiding by international human rights conventions. Under Khaled’s direct lead and supervision, a Coordinator for Human Rights position was created in the Presidential Office for the first time in Egyptian history. Khaled also invited human rights organizations into the Presidential Office and actively worked to create a free and encouraging environment for NGOs to function in Egypt.
Khaled was also in charge of the Women’s Empowerment portfolio and advocated for women to run for office (including the presidency) and acknowledged women as equal partners in the new democratic Egypt. As part of his long term strategy to create a model for social justice and empowerment for women in Egypt, Khaled held more than 20 hearing sessions with different national and international women’s organizations and began the process of opening a UN Women’s Office in Egypt. 

Khaled was kind of the go to person when we wanted to raise issues about developing new improved legislation on things like the rights of NGOs to organize and operate without government micromanagement and without intrusion by the security services... He was trying to change things... based on what he said to us, and the dialogue that continued over the course of a year, he was genuinely interested in these kind of reforms.