Mr. Abdel-Razek studied accounting, but politics was his parents' world and eventually became his. Mr. Abdel-Razik helped pioneer the use of litigation to overturn oppressive laws and expand legal recognition of rights for workers, women and sexual minorities.

During the heady days of the 2011 Arab Spring revolt that toppled Mr. Mubarak, Mr. Adel-Razek clung to the vision of a free and tolerant Egypt.

''Although we feel defeated now, we cannot deny there have been gains from the revolution,'' Mr. Abdel-Razek told Mada Masr, one of Egypt's very few remaining independent news outlets, in 2015.

ON bad days - and in recent years there seemed to be more bad days than ever - Gasser Abdel-Raek, captain, counselor and friend to nearly everyone in Egypt's shrinking human rights community tended to counter the tension and stress with food.

So it was, in August 2014, during the worst of Cairo's blazing summer, that Mr. Abdel-Razek showed up to visit a friend in person bearing a grin and an ice cream cake. An act of foolishness, maybe - or, as he often called his approach to advocacy under hostile conditions, ''strategic denial''.

''If we think about the threats, if we try to assess what will get us in trouble and what won't, then it would be impossible to work,'' Mr. Abdel-Razek, the executive director of the Egyptian initiative for  Personal Rights, said in a recent interview.

''We stay focused on our work, and we tell ourselves whatever happens, we'll have to deal with it.''

Though rarely in the spotlight, Mr. Abdel Razik was the one whom others turned to when in trouble.

His jokes unerringly punctured moments of tension. Calm and pragmatic after setbacks, including the arrest of an Initiative researcher in February, he would set about calling the government contacts and mobilizing resources.

''Even though we probably won't live through  another 2011 in our lifetime, you've seen the power of human rights work and you've seen what you can do with it,'' Ms Heba Morayef, Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa director said.

The Honor and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on great humans in service of humankind, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Vivian Yee.


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