|Birth Day:||February 26, 1972|
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He graduated from Zagazig University in 1995.
Ali was born in Dakahlia Governorate to a modest rural family He enrolled at Zagazig University’s law school in 1990 and graduated in 1994. Upon graduating, he undertook an unpaid internship at a local law firm before co-founding the HMLC in 1999.
A 2001 judgment in a case spearheaded by Ali saw labor syndicates gain more freedoms. His victory winning the renationalisation of large companies, sold by the former regime in corrupt deals, included retailer Omar Effendi, the Nile Cotton Weaving Company and several other factories. Ali also served on the legal team that halted the privatisation of Egypt's national health insurance and presided over the legal team advocating for transparency and protection of public insurance and pension funds.
Throughout Ali's career, he has been a strong supporter of worker's strikes and public sector activism. In 2007, Ali noted the growing trend of strikes as a sign of political change: "Taboos were broken during the past few years of political ferment, and workers grew less afraid," he said. Speaking to a reporter in April 2008 about the general strike taking place, Ali noted that its purpose was not to harm the economy, stating that "the point was to make a strong statement and to take a stand."
Ali supported the December 2008 founding of the independent General Union of Real Estate Tax Authority Employees (RETA). In 2009, amid protests of the state-controlled ETUF and agitation for independent unions in a broad section of trades, Ali said of the tax authority and growing political action by workers in a number of sectors, "The RETA set the example for other workers and civil servants to follow. It's indeed the single most important independent political project in 2009." He also addressed the problem of Egyptian labor, distrust of political parties, which have tried to co-opt labor's causes, and the fear that demonstrations would be brutally suppressed by the government, stating that "there is also a tactical dimension to trying to avoid the wrath of the government and its security apparatus." Ali made the distinction between politics and political parties, however, citing the Muslim Brotherhood's control of professional syndicates, versus the intertwining of Egypt's progressive political movement and labor. "For years, labor constituted the social heart of the progressive political movement, which in turn served as the political brain for labor. That was important for the labor movement to articulate its discourse and negotiate its demands," Ali said.
Ali is known for filing and winning a landmark court case in 2010 that forced the government to set a minimum wage commensurate with the cost of living; it was raised to 1,200 Egyptian pounds per month and covers all workers. In February 2010, he said, "The government represents the marriage between authority and money—and this marriage needs to be broken up... We call for the resignation of Ahmad Nazif's government because it only works for businessmen and ignores social justice. We call for a minimum wage and a maximum wage, as well as the connection of wages to prices. We also call for annual wage increases in line with inflation rates. We are against the privatisation of the health insurance sector and call for the fixing of all temporary labor contracts." In April 2010, there was a demonstration outside the cabinet office, where approximately 300 workers protested the government's privatisation policy and against the Egyptian Trade Union Federation (ETUF), which is controlled by the government. Ali said at the time, "We'll give them a month. If after a month the verdict hasn't been applied in a manner acceptable to workers, all the workers forces taking part in this protest will stage repeated protests until it is implemented," Ali said.
Ali has been a prominent labor activist and lawyer. He is the former head of the ECESR, a founding member of the HMLC, a founding member of the Front to Defend Egyptian Protesters (started in 2008), and a founder of "the coordinating committee for the defense of the rights and freedoms of association." Al-Ahram Weekly called him a "legendary anti-corruption crusader", and CounterPunch described him as "Egypt's best-known counselor and defender of independent unions and worker protests." In 2011, he was given the "Egyptian Corruption Fighter" award by the Egyptians Against Corruption movement.
Ali was interviewed in Cairo in February 2011 by a correspondent from Democracy Now!. Ali said that while middle class youth sparked the Arab Spring, which expressed the political will of the Egyptian people of different classes, the workers had set the stage. "Workers laid the ground for the emergence of this revolution, and I believe that any analysis which says otherwise is superficial," said Ali.
Ali was active in the 2011 revolution, supporting worker's strikes and representing protesters and the families of martyrs against the government, while condemning the violence of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) and Egypt's police forces.
On 3 February 2011, Ali was among those detained by security forces after a raid on the HMLC in Cairo. Amnesty International condemned the raid, which it characterised as a "crackdown", accusing the Egyptian authorities of "attempting to suppress the wave of popular protest" then taking place all across Egypt.
In June 2011, Ali was heard by the Administrative Court regarding a lawsuit seeking to overturn Law 34/2011, passed by the SCAF and the Cabinet and which criminalized certain protests and strikes. Ali said, "Protests and strikes have always been workers' only weapon … since they have no ability to negotiate with the government — depriving them of this right is depriving them from voicing their suffering." He said further, "The law was billed as the 'freedom of work and preventing sabotage' law, while it is actually meant to prevent workers and poor people from protesting." In August 2011, Ali took part in a press conference held by 36 non-governmental organisations (NGO) to condemn a "fierce campaign" by the government and SCAF to limit protests. He criticised the Ministry of Social Solidarity for what he saw as their attempt to "monopolise" patriotism and decried the defamation of activists protesting against Mubarak and privatisation, as well as the practice of trying civilians before military tribunals as human rights violations committed by the Cabinet and SCAF.
Ali condemned the violence in Egypt since the revolution and has been working with the families of 17 unarmed protesters killed by the military in October 2011, ten of whom were crushed to death when armored vehicles drove over them and seven others who were killed when soldiers fired into a crowd.
On the evening of 27 February 2012, Ali held a press conference at the Journalists' Syndicate in Cairo to announce his candidacy for president in the 2012 election, hours after announcing the press conference on Twitter. The press conference was a well-attended event, held one day after his 40th birthday, the minimum age eligible to run for the office. He was the youngest candidate to enter the race, saying at the press conference that he "decided to pursue the race as a young man, inclined to support the poor, against military rule and with the rights of our martyrs. I am not afraid, so long as I have the support of all those who dream of freedom, justice, and dignity." At the time, he was an independent and had never been a member of any political party.
Ali initially planned to run as a candidate in the 2014 presidential election. however, he withdrew his candidacy on 16 March 2014, after the passage of the presidential elections law, describing the election as a "farce" while also urging incumbent Abdel Fattah el-Sisi not to run and the army to stay out of politics.
In November 2017, Ali announced that he would run in the 2018 presidential election, but announced his withdrawal in January 2018, citing "government violations and unfair competition".
In September 2017, the Dokki Misdemeanor Court handed Ali a three-month prison sentence and ordered a bail of 1,000 Egyptian pounds for "offending public decency" while celebrating a court victory in which he successfully reversed a decision to transfer the sovereignty of the Tiran and Sanafir islands to Saudi Arabia. Ali denied the charge and said he would appeal the decision, with the defence team arguing that video evidence used against Ali had undergone "manipulation". In a statement, Amnesty International characterised the ruling as "a clear signal that the Egyptian authorities are intent on eliminating any rival who could stand in the way of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s victory [in the 2018 elections]."
In November 2017, Ali successfully appealed the ruling, on the grounds that the Dokki Misdemeanor Court had failed to hear the defense's arguments. In September 2018, the Dokki Misdemeanor Appeals Court upheld the ruling, but suspended his sentence for three years.
In October 2017, an unnamed woman circulated an email to various activists and civil society workers accusing Ali of sexual harassment over an incident that took place at his Cairo office in 2015, in which Ali allegedly requested to meet her and steered their conversation toward her personal and sexual relationships, before asking her to spend the night with him. The woman formerly worked with Ali at the ECESR.
In February 2018, the Bread and Freedom Party, which Ali formed in 2013, announced that their investigative committee acquitted him of all charges, but Ali later announced his resignation from both the party and the ECESR, denying the allegations but apologising to the woman, stating that "just her thinking about me in this way and her writing an email of this nature means that I must offer an apology for the pain she experienced. Regardless of the results of the investigation, I bear part of the responsibility, which has prompted me to offer this apology." A formal complaint to the public prosecutor was filed against him later the same month.
In October 2018, a judge issued an order banning Ali from travelling abroad over suspicions of links to a case dating back to late 2011 alleging foreign financing of Egyptian NGOs to harm national security.
Currently, Khaled Ali is 50 years, 6 months and 29 days old. Khaled Ali will celebrate 51st birthday on a Sunday 26th of February 2023.
Find out about Khaled Ali birthday activities in timeline view here.