Egyptian diplomat and former Institute Fellow Tahsheen Bashir dies in London.
WASHINGTON–The United States Institute of Peace mourns the passing of Tahseen Bashir, a distinguished Egyptian diplomat and an Institute Senior Fellow in 1995-96. Mr. Bashir died of heart failure Tuesday in London. He was 77.
Mr. Bashir served as spokesman to the first two of Egypt's three modern presidents–Gamal Abdel Nasser and Anwar Sadat–and later became known as an outspoken, unabashed and oft-quoted critic of Egyptian politics and government.
During his fellowship at the U.S. Institute of Peace, Mr. Bashir worked on a project about "The Development of a Constituency of Peace: Egypt's Peace Strategy, 1973-1980." He reflected upon and analyzed his time as press spokesman for Sadat when he was a lead figure in the effort to build a constituency in Egypt for compromise with Israel and recognition of Israel as a state as part of the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty of 1979.
Mr. Bashir was an ardent voice for peace in the Arab world and a longtime advocate of peaceful coexistence between Arabs and Israelis.
The Institute's fellowship selection committee recommended Mr. Bashir as "an impressive and brilliant man," and "a brilliant speaker."
During his fellowship, he was part of a core group of eminent figures who specialized in improving Arab-Israeli relations; others in that group were Ambassador Adnan Abu Odeh of Jordan and Prof. Ephraim Kleiman of Israel.
Mr. Bashir was one of many prominent Muslim leaders that the Institute's fellowship program has hosted over the years including Ambassador Odeh, Ambassador Abdul Sattar of Pakistan (now Pakistan's Foreign Minister), and Amina Rasul-Bernardo of the Philippines.
The Institute recently inaugurated a Special Initiative on the Muslim World in order to examine the sources of conflict and prospects for peace in Islamic societies.
The United States Institute of Peace is an independent, nonpartisan institution established and funded by Congress. Its goals are to help prevent and resolve violent international conflicts, promote post-conflict stability and development, and increase conflict management capacity, tools, and intellectual capital worldwide. The Institute does this by empowering others with knowledge, skills, and resources, as well as by directly engaging in peacebuilding efforts around the globe.