The Bassel Khartabil Memorial Fund

Photo of Bassel Khartabil by Mohamed Nanabhay (CC BY)

Bassel Khartabil was Creative Commons’ Syrian project lead, an open source software programmer, teacher, Wikipedia contributor, and free culture advocate. He was also a devoted son and husband, and a great friend to many in the global open knowledge community.

At the request of Bassel’s family, Creative Commons has established the Bassel Khartabil Memorial Fund to support projects in the spirit of his work. Creative Commons is accepting donations, has seeded the fund with $10,000, and invites the public to celebrate Bassel’s legacy and support the spread of his work. Contributions to the fund will go towards projects, programs, and grants to individuals advancing collaboration, community building, and leadership development in the open communities of the Arab world. The fund will also support the digital preservation, sharing, and remix of creative works and historical artifacts. All of these projects are deeply intertwined with CC’s core mission and values, and those of other communities to which he contributed and who will benefit from the establishment of the fund.


Creative Commons is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Your contribution is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. No goods or services were provided in exchange for your financial contribution. Donations may not be earmarked for distribution to a specific person or organization.

About Bassel Khartabil

In March 2012, Bassel was taken from the street in Damascus and jailed amid a wave of military arrests. In October 2015, he was abruptly transferred to an undisclosed location, and all communication between Bassel and the outside world ceased. His family and friends prayed for his safe return, and organizations and governments around the world called for his safe release. We were all heartbroken to learn in August 2017 the awful news that Bassel had in fact been executed by the Syrian government shortly after his disappearance in 2015.

The projects and communities Bassel helped build continue to live on around the world, and will remain a tribute to his leadership. Creative Commons, and the global commons of art, history, and knowledge, are stronger because of Bassel’s contributions, and our community is better because of his work and friendship. His death is a terrible reminder of what many risk in order to make a better society.

Learn more about Bassel at Wikipedia and