Mourning Nour Farahat, a prominent legal expert

Al-Ahram Weekly , Tuesday 31 Jan 2023

Mohamed Nour Farahat
Mohamed Nour Farahat


Mohamed Nour Farahat

Leading constitutional jurist and prominent political thinker Mohamed Nour Farahat passed away on Friday night at 72. Farahat’s son Ali announced the death on his Facebook account. Funeral prayers were held on Sunday at Abu Bakr Al-Seddiq Mosque in Heliopolis, attended by several politicians, intellectuals, and legal experts.

“One of the most influential legal experts in Egypt and the Arab region,” is how Gamal Zahran, professor of political sciences, who was at the funeral, described Farahat. Praising Farahat’s impartiality, Zahran said the jurist, despite his Nasserist ideologies, was never biased to any political affiliation. Former parliamentary member Mohamed Anwar Al-Sadat lamented the loss of “a great legal and patriotic personality whose honorable stances are well known to everyone”.

Farahat started his professional and academic career in the 1970s upon his graduation from the Faculty of Law. He continued his postgraduate studies until joining the Faculty of Law in Zagazig University as a professor of history and philosophy of law.

Farahat was a member of the Supreme Council of Culture and had many writings and articles published in philosophy, history of law, legal sociology, issues of democracy, and human rights. In 1984, Farahat was selected as a part-time manager of the Legal Research Centre at the Arab Lawyers Federation. He was a former member of the press higher council. Farahat was also a leading member of the liberal Egyptian Social Democratic Party and had a key role in its founding.

Farahat was known for his patriotic stances and support for the aspirations and hopes of the Egyptian people in the wake of the violent uprising that swept across Egypt in 2011. He was one of the members of the Egyptian Foundation for the Protection of the Constitution, formed in 2016 and stood firmly against attempts to distort its articles.

He received the 2001 Excellence Award in social sciences and the 2003 State Appreciation Award in social sciences.

Farahat was a top advisor to the United Nations on human rights. The UN had tasked him with drafting the constitution of the Maldives and also assessing Sudan’s needs in technical assistance in human rights. He was recruited by UNESCO to prepare reports on intolerance and discrimination affecting Arab societies. Farahat was a member of the executive board of the Arab Institute for Human Rights based in Tunisia.

The National Council for Women (NCW) mourned the iconic constitutional jurist who was one of the leading defenders of women’s rights. NCW Chairperson Maya Morsi expressed her “deep sorrow” for the loss of a leading legal expert “who left a historical impact in national and international legislation, in addition to his sincere efforts in supporting women’s issues through his post as the NCW deputy chairman.”

The Egyptian Association for Graduates of Russian and Soviet Universities offered its condolences to the Egyptian people and the Arab nation. Farahat was the founder and first president of the association established in 2001 and through which he contributed to building bridges of communication and cooperation between Egypt and the peoples of the former Soviet Union.

Head of the association Sherif Gad indicated that the passing of Farahat was a “great loss. We lost a national figure who fought for the civil state in Egypt and the protection of the constitution,” Gad said.

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