Aug 15, 2019

NEW YORK – The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) mourns the passing of Suleiman Bakhit, an artist, businessman, and human rights activist. Suleiman was a Jordanian social entrepreneur and best-selling comic book creator.

“With Suleiman’s passing, the world has lost a wonderful man: a warrior-poet with a strong and loving heart,” said HRF President Thor Halvorssen. “He had a gift of storytelling that redefined what it means to be a hero, working to create a world modeled on hope, resilience, love, and connection. Suleiman will be deeply missed by the HRF community. He will always be remembered as a dear friend and beloved member of the Oslo Freedom Forum family.”

Suleiman was the CEO of Aranim Media Factory and the founder of the Hero-Factor project, an organization dedicated to promoting heroism as an antidote to extremism for Middle Eastern youth. Suleiman believed that cultivating a heroic moral imagination among children is the most effective technology for defeating the allure of terrorism and disrupting the vast recruitment networks of terrorist organizations. Over the years, he dedicated his work toward the development of stories, myths, and heroes that promoted tolerance, the empowerment of women and girls, and to countering extremist narratives by providing Arab youth with positive role models. Suleiman was motivated to create his company after experiencing a violent attack in the U.S. after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Suleiman was also a TED Global Fellow.

In 2014, Suleiman participated in HRF’s Oslo Freedom Forum, and used the platform to share the lessons he had learned in his long career as an activist. Watch his talk here.

The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that promotes and protects human rights globally, with a focus on closed societies.

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