Mounir Samuel

Dutch-Egyptian political scientist & Middle East expert.


Mounir Samuel (1989) is a Dutch-Egyptian political scientist & Middle East expert. She became one of the most famous young commentators on TV and Radio in the Netherlands during the Egyptian uprising against President Hosni Mubarak (2011). She is an author of seven books as well as several short stories and essays. She has published articles and editorials in all Dutch quality newspapers such as NRC Handelsblad, de Volkskrant, NRC Next, Trouw as well as the Belgium quality newspapers De Standaard and De Morgen. She has worked as a fly-in correspondent MENA-region for the weekly magazine De Groene Amsterdammer (Dutch equivalent to The New Yorker) and online media platform de Correspondent, and has shot two documentary films in Egypt.

Mounir Samuel works, writes and frequently speaks on issues such as social and political developments in the Middle East and North Africa, social media and online activism, modern journalism, migration and integration issues, gender equality, minority rights (ethnic, religious, LGBTQ), radical youth movements, global youth culture, political activism, religion and radical extremism, international affairs and trans-Atlantic relations Her house is located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, but her home is all around the world.



Mounir Samuel (1989) was born in Amersfoort, a medium town in the Netherlands, but is off Egyptian heritage. From her childhood onwards, she sustained strong ties with her Egyptian family living in popular urban areas in Cairo (such as Ain Shams and Ezbet al-Nakhla). She carries both the Dutch and the Egyptian nationality. Mounir suffers from several difficult medical conditions including a severe eye-disease (Stargardt’s disease) which reduced her sight to about ten percent for both her eyes. Still her visual disability has never prevented her from living life to the max, traveling, moving from one place to the other and pursuing her career in any given direction. She has a BA-degree in political science from Leiden University and a MSC-degree in International Relations & Diplomacy at Leiden University in corporation with the Royal Institute for Foreign Affairs Clingendael. She has studied American political development and US Foreign Policy at UC San Diego, and has taken extra classes in Middle Eastern history and Islamic Law at Leiden University.

Mounir Samuel has been a fierce promoter of minority rights, including of which LGBTQ-rights. Being the first open bi-cultural Christian lesbian in the Netherlands she has been honored for being a role model for her contribution to social diversity and acceptance in Dutch society. Mounir Samuel has traveled to remote areas in the world where to investigate sensitive issues such as homophobia in Sub-Sahara Africa (Uganda/Ethiopia), political rights of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan, child prostitution in Thailand, Syrian refugees in Northern Iraq, teenage pregnancies in the Dominican Republic. Over the last couple of years she has visited dozens of countries over five different continents mostly by her own.

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© Pictures by Jeroen Hofman, 2015