Cancelled due to illness 10/19/11

Hagop Kevorkian Center Luncheon Seminar Series

A discussion with Mohamed Yousry

(PhD Candidate, Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at NYU)



Location: The Hagop Kevorkian Center–255 Sullivan Street

A light lunch will be provided

Background: Umar Abd al-Rahman was a leader of Egypt’s Gama‘a Islamiyya, which in the 1990s was engaged in armed conflict with the Egyptian state. In 1995 Abd al-Rahman was sentenced to life imprisonment in the United States for involvement in a conspiracy to blow up various New York City landmarks. That same year Mohamed Yousry, a student in the MEIS Ph.D. program, was hired to translate for Abd al-Rahman’s defense team, and as a result he frequently accompanied Abd al-Rahman’s lawyer, Lynne Stewart, on prison visits.

In April 2002 Stewart, Yousry and a paralegal were arrested and charged with providing material support for terrorism and with violating special restrictions that the government had imposed on Abd al-Rahman’s communications with the outside world. The case aroused considerable controversy: many legal experts, translators and others challenged the legal basis of the government’s case and especially questioned Yousry’s indictment, since he was a paid employee of Stewart who had followed her instructions. Nonetheless, all three were found guilty in 2005 and Yousry was sentenced to 20 months in prison. He entered prison in November 2009 and was released on parole in April 2011. This is the first time he has been back to NYU since his release.