Born: July 5, 1954
Founder, al-Karama Party and the Popular Current
Hamdeen Sabbahi is a former member of parliament and well-know political opposition figure. He contested Egypt’s first presidential election after the January 25 Revolution and placed third, after Mohamed Morsi and Ahmed Shafiq, with more than five million votes. He was the sole challenger to Abdel Fatah al-Sisi in the 2014 election, and lost after netting less than 5 percent of total votes.
His political career began when he established a student association for Nasserites while in high school. He graduated from the Faculty of Media in 1977.
After the revolution, Sabbahi instituted the Popular Current, which became an important political movement. It joined the National Salvation Front in 2012.
Sabbahi’s Popular Current aims to establish a real democratic system in Egypt which will include involving all Egyptians in political life. It has also pledged to work toward resolving Egypt’s social problems, such as unemployment and poverty.
Sabbahi was one of the founders of the Karama Party and served two consecutive terms in the People’s Assembly, the lower house of the Egyptian parliament, as an independent. He was a common figure at political demonstrations in Cairo in the years leading up to Egypt’s 2011 revolution. Sabbahi, along with Ayman Nour and George Ishak, was one of few opposition politicians to go to the streets and take part in such demonstrations before the January 25 Revolution.
Sabbahi strongly believes in Arab Nationalism and took part in many Egyptian demonstrations in support of Palestine. He also opposed the American occupation of Iraq.