Al-Aswany helped found the Kefaya political movement, a grassroots coalition group that built a platform against corruption and stagnation in Egyptian politics. He has been critical of both the military and the Islamist leadership in the country, in keeping with the original spirit of the revolution that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak. Besides writing op-eds on the revolution, Aswany is currently working on his new book, “The Automobile Club of Egypt,” which is expected to be released next year.
In his interview with Foreign Policy, Aswany said the revolution has changed Egyptians for the better.
Al-Aswany is hardly the only Egyptian on the list. From Wael Ghonim to Tawakkol Karman, this year’s list is dominated by men and women from the Arab world who made headlines for their dissent and steadfast persistence to fight for the cause of a revolution.
The annual list also includes President Obama, and a handful of other heads of state, including Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy. See the full list here.