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LLM, MCL, SJD, PhD

Fathi Ageila
Home Country:
Libya
Previous Education:
LLB' 06 Garyounis University-Benghazi, School of Law

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Attorney Turned Activist
Fathi Ageila, LLM'11 (Thesis)

Fathi Ageila has a longtime interest in the law. Recent events in his home country of Libya — and the guidance of Maurer professors — have inspired him to advance human rights when he returns home.

Why Indiana University? "I studied at Garyounis University for four years, where I met my mentor Professor Mustafa Omran. He is an IU graduate and told me I should go there for my LLM. I've never regretted it.

"At Indiana Law, international students can get not only legal but cultural experience. Bloomington is such an international community that you can get to know students from all over the world, with minimal culture shock. It's peaceful and quiet - a wonderful place to live."

The Faculty's International Expertise. I have learned so much from my professors because of their experience with other recently liberated countries. Professor David Williams' work at the Center for Constitutional Democracy; Professor Feisal Istrabadi's experience with Iraq, Professor Tim Waters' work in the Balkan nations; and Professor David P. Fidler with his international human rights expertise - all of this is very helpful to me as I start to think about how I can lead change in Libya. It would be really hard to move ahead without their help. And my LLM degree will give me credibility at home because it shows that I've been exposed to the international community.

"I haven't found a single professor here who isn't helpful and friendly. They take the time to get to know you and learn about you."

A Life-Changing Experience. "Studying at Indiana Law has changed my mind about critical and objective thinking. The school taught me to look at both sides of an issue, both in law and in politics. If you want to promote human rights, you can't take sides, because everyone's entitled to human rights."

The Future. "I plan to practice law and teach at Garyounis University in Benghazi. Lawyers are now in a position to change things in Libya because they know how to operate within the law. I have also applied to Indiana Law's SJD program, so I can teach advanced law classes in Libya. That will give me a platform for changing more than 500 minds every year.

In Libya, we've waited for this moment of freedom for more than 40 years. Thanks to my time in Bloomington, I'm ready!"