For over a quarter of a century, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) has contributed to the Arab Rights Library with more than 400 specialized publications on human rights. The library is now available online to researchers and advocates, offering diverse analyses and perspectives on cultural, legal, and political issues in the Middle East and North Africa region. It is enriched by numerous contributions from prominent researchers, writers, academics and human rights defenders from around the world. In countries throughout the region and globally, CIHRS publications are republished (Morocco) or are re-translated into local languages (Indonesia). CIHRS’ translated material is also used in renowned universities, such as the American University in Cairo.
Bahey eldin Hassan, the director of CIHRS, hopes the library will “shed more light for researchers and university students, who seek to understand the political, societal and cultural transformations that have been brewing since the Arab Spring, and which are still ongoing under the surface of current events in the Arab region.”
The publications of the Arab Rights Library encompass specialized academic studies, comparative studies, political and human rights analyses, monitoring and analytical reports, dozens of documents from regional and international forums and conferences, summaries of hundreds of expert dialogues, and annual reports issued by CIHRS on the human rights situations in twelve Arab countries. In addition, the Arab Rights Library includes biographies of human rights defenders, literature on human rights issues, artistic and cultural publications discussing art in relation to human rights, and educational publications for youth. The library also includes hundreds of periodical rights publications issued by CIHRS, such as the Rowaq Arabi journal, which is still being published on its online platform, and Sawasia Magazine.
The library reflects a foundational philosophy of CIHRS – “To entrench human rights in the major cultures of the world,” – articulated by Egyptian researcher, intellectual and co-founder of CIHRS Dr. Mohamed al-Sayed Said.
The publications of CIHRS explore human rights philosophy, especially in Arab and Islamic ideologies; defining human rights, constitutions, and mechanisms for human rights protection and promotion; and the extent of human rights impacts in Arab constitutions, legislation, and even in the arts. These publications are written by hundreds of authors representing diverse fields: academics, jurists, journalists, historians, lawyers, consultants, writers, poets, and art critics, in addition to representing many intellectual and political ideologies, from liberal to Islamist to secularist to Nasserist, and to leftist. The library further analyzes the collective struggle of peoples throughout the region towards democracy; explaining the challenges of democratic transformation in the region and the lessons learned from each struggle for democratic change in Arab countries.
Some of these publications focus on the emergence of the Arab human rights movement, its developments and first pioneers, and the challenges it faced in an attempt to document the history of the movement and analyze its positions and responses to regional and global changes.
CIHRS has also recently launched the entire printed archive of Rowaq Arabi online with over 70 issues, on the new online platform for the journal. Over 700 studies and analyses are featured, which revolve around the most notable cases related to human rights, and contain more than 250 of the most important documents issued by the regional and international human rights movement over the past two decades.
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