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Sunday, 23 September 2018

Egyptian veteran activist Shahenda Maklad dies at 78

The veteran political activist and National Council for Human Rights member passed away after long struggle with illness

Ahram Online , Thursday 2 Jun 2016
Shahenda Maklad
Late political activist Shahenda Maklad in Tahrir square during an anti-Morsi protest in November 2012 (Photo:Zeinab El-Gundy)
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Veteran leftist political activist and member of the National Council for Human Rights Shahenda Maklad passed away Thursday evening after a long struggle with illness.

Her funeral will be held in her hometown of Kamshish in the Nile Delta Menoufiya governorate, according to her son.

The 78-year-old Maklad's long history of activism for social justice in Egypt began after the 1952 revolution. As a young teen, Maklad famously stood with her cousin, political activist Hussein Salah, to demand the end of feudal families' control of land in their Nile Delta village.

Salah, who married Maklad shortly after, was assassinated by one of the village's families for his activism.

After her husband's assassination, the mother of three vowed to continue the fight against feudalism in Egypt and became one of the famous women activists in the country. 

A supporter of late President Gamal Abdel-Nasser's policies, Maklad opposed the economic and foreign policies of successors Anwar El-Sadat and Hosni Mubarak.

Despite her age, she joined the famous 18-day sit-in at Cairo's Tahrir square that demanded the ouster of autocrat Mubarak in January and February of 2011.

Maklad also opposed the policies of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi. In December 2013, a video showing a Morsi supporter attacking her during a sit-in outside the Presidential Palace caused widespread outrage.

Maklad, who declared her full support for current president Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, was appointed at the National Council for Human Rights in August 2013.

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