Mounir Samuel (1989) is a Dutch-Egyptian political scientist & Middle East expert. He became one of the most famous young commentators on TV and Radio in the Netherlands during the Egyptian uprising against President Hosni Mubarak (2011).
Born as a girl out of orthodox-protestant Egyptian parents raised in the Dutch Bible Belt, his coming out in public first as a lesbian and later as a female-to-male gender queer (not to be mistaken with transgender) has resulted in huge debate in the Netherlands. Through his work, public speaking, TV appearances and writing he has constantly pushed the boundaries and cultural notions of sexuality and gender. His latest work includes a popular vlog series on his transition and the social side effects as he calls a public gender transition, and numerous long-reads for de Groene Amsterdammer (the Dutch equivalent to the New Yorker) in which he investigates racism and discrimination in the sex tourism in Thailand, the double lives of middle class youth in Senegal, “sad in the city” being the only-non black in a all-black neighborhood in Brooklyn-Queens NYC, and the growing color-alliances among non-white second and third generation
He is an author of ten books as well as several short stories and essays. He 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. Samuel works as a fly-in correspondent MENA-region for the weekly magazine De Groene Amsterdammer (Dutch equivalent to The New Yorker) and has written dozens of reportages for 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. His house is located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, but his home is all around the world.
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© Pictures by Jeroen Hofman, 2015