Bassem Sabry, a journalist lauded for his coverage of Egypt's 2011 revolution, has died in an apparent accident at age 31. Sabry wrote for al-Monitor and the Huffington Post, among other publications, and he was widely cited internationally, the Guardian reports. Though he once worked as a strategist for the liberal Dostour party, Sabry was known for offering unbiased analysis in a highly-charged environment, the newspaper notes. The cause of his death is still unclear, though some outlets suggest he fell from a balcony.
"Half of Cairo and just about every non-Egyptian who has worked in or cared about Egypt" seems to have known Bassem, writes Max Fisher at Vox. "At a time when Egypt sorely needed voices that rejected destructive polarization and mutual hatred, Bassem was one of the few that insisted on standing for far loftier principles," says another Cairo analyst. "He believed in a better Egypt for all Egyptians—and worked tirelessly, often very quietly and without taking credit, in pursuit of that goal." He was, above all, a voice of optimisim, notes Fisher. Wrote Bassem himself ahead of Egypt's 2012 elections: " I truly remain hopeful not just out of a survivalist need to be hopeful, but also out of true conviction that there is so much to be hopeful for, and so much to be hopeful from."