Is Sarah Hegazi Living or Dead?

Has Egyptian LGBT activist Sarah Hegazi died? Or is she still alive?

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Egyptian LGBT activist

Sarah Hegazi is ...

Born 1989 in Egypt
Died 13 Jun 2020 in Toronto
Age30 years (approx)

About Sarah Hegazi

Sarah Hegazi (Arabic: سارة حجازي‎; 1989 – June 13, 2020), also spelled Hegazy or Higazy, was an Egyptian socialist, writer, and lesbian activist. She was arrested, imprisoned and tortured in prison in Egypt for three months after flying a rainbow flag at a Mashrou' Leila concert in 2017 in Cairo. Hegazi lived with PTSD resulting from the prison torture she had experienced in Egypt. She was granted asylum in Canada, living there until her death.

She is also known as Sara Hegazy and Sarah Hegazy.


Hegazi died on 13 June 2020 in Toronto, Canada. On 15 June 2020 Hegazi's lawyer Khaled Al-Masry confirmed her death as suicide. A short letter written by Hegazi, in Arabic, circulated on social media following her death. The letter read: "To my siblings – I tried to survive and I failed, forgive me. To my friends – the experience was harsh and I am too weak to resist it, forgive me. To the world – you were cruel to a great extent, but I forgive." Her death was reported across a range of international news outlets, with tributes to her activism a recurring theme. Hamed Sinno, the frontman of the Lebanese band Mashrou' Leila shared a tribute on his Facebook profile to Hegazi which read "لروحك الحرية", or "Freedom for your soul". Sinno later composed and performed a song based on the words written by Hegazi shortly before her death. Visual art memorializing Hegazi has circulated widely since her death. Other Arab artisits and public figures shared messages of sympathy and solidarity with Hegazi and the LGBT community among which Egyptian actor Amr Waked, Lebanese singer and stage actress Carole Samaha, Jordanian lawyer and journalist Ola Al-Fares.

The Canadian socialist magazine Spring published an obituary to Hegazi with Valerie Lannon writing: "I remember her saying 'I never felt so alive as during the revolution.' In her honour, and to fulfil our own sense of life, it is our duty to continue fighting for the revolution here, Egypt and around the world." During the 2020 Pride Month, the Arab LGBT community held vigils in the United States, Canada, London, and Beirut to commemorate Hegazi's life and struggle against homophobia; these came together with memorial vigils and events across the world. In Malta, the Allied Rainbow Communities and Moviment Graffitti commemorated Hegazi's death through a demonstration at the Egyptian Embassy and criticized the Maltese Government's designation of Egypt as a safe country to which refugees could be returned. Prominent Egyptian LGBT activist Shrouk El-Attar started a fundraiser for the benefit of Sarah's family and LGBT organizations.

Hegazi was laid to rest in a rainbow coloured casket following a public funeral at St. John’s Dixie Cemetery on 22 June 2020.