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Bassel Khartabil Fellowship

Bassel Khartabil (photo by CC Korea, CC BY)

Meet the 2020 Bassel Khartabil Fellowship recipient, Tarek Loubani
Meet the 2018 (inaugural) fellowship recipient, Majd Al-shihabi

Honoring the legacy of Creative Commoner Bassel Khartabil:
Advancing collaboration, community, and the open web

The Bassel Khartabil Fellowship supports outstanding individuals developing free culture projects in their communities under adverse circumstances, honoring the legacy of beloved artist, open source technology innovator, and free culture advocate Bassel Khartabil.

Bassel was Creative Commons’ Syrian project lead, the cofounder of Syria’s first hackerspace, and a prolific open source contributor to projects like Firefox and Wikipedia. Bassel’s final project, relaunched as #NEWPALMYRA, entailed building free and open 3D models of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra. In his work as a computer engineer, educator, artist, musician, cultural heritage researcher, and thought leader, Bassel modeled a more open world, impacting lives globally.

Bassel was taken from the streets in March of 2012 in a military arrest and interrogated and tortured in secret in a facility controlled by Syria’s General Intelligence Directorate. Despite international outrage at his treatment and calls for his release, in October of 2015 he was moved to an undisclosed location and executed shortly thereafter.

Fellows are expected to lead projects or initiatives that will catalyze free culture, particularly in societies vulnerable to attacks on freedom of expression and free access to knowledge.

Special consideration will be given to applicants operating within closed societies and in developing economies where other forms of support are scarce, but all interested applicants are encouraged to apply.

The Fellowship is organized by Fabricatorz Foundation with support from Creative Commons and Mozilla Foundation, along with partnership from Khartabil’s final projects: Nophotozone and #NEWPALMYRA.

How to apply:

Fellowship applications will be accepted on, or by email at, through September 28th, 2019 (Note: application period is now closed.)

The Fellow will be selected by a jury of free culture community luminaries. Throughout their one-year term, the chosen Fellow will receive a stipend of $50,000 USD, mentorship from affiliate organizations, skill development, project promotion, and fundraising support from the partner network, as well as other benefits.

Find more details about the Fellowship at