Mindy Baha El Din

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Mindy Baha El Din (1 November 1958[1] - 18 March 2013) was an American-born Egyptian ornithologist, eco-activist, and environmentalist. Together with her husband, ornithologist and herpetologist Dr. Sherif Baha El Din she made notable contributions to the protection of migratory birds and their habitats,[2] she also helped lay the foundations of the Nature Conservation Sector (NCS) of the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA) and in the establishment of Egypt's Protected Area network.


Mindy Baha El Din was born as Mindy Rosenzweig[3] in Chicago, Illinois. After her graduation in Arabic and economics at the Indiana University she took a course in field ornithology at the Cornell University and became a birdwatcher. As employee of BirdLife International she went to Egypt in 1988 and established an environmental education center at the Giza Zoo in Giza. In the early 1990s she helped in establishing the Technical Office of the Environment (TCOE) of the EEAA, which was the dynamic technical kitchen that helped develop and finance the early development of Egypt's primary environmental protection organization. Since the late 1990s she and her husband, whom she married in 1989, worked as freelance ecologists and wildlife management consultants, organizing and guiding birding tours through Egypt, producing educational materials, launching campaigns promoting migratory bird conservation and studying migration. Mindy and Dr. Sherif Baha El Din were advisers of the Nature Conservation Sector within the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency. In 1994 they founded Tortoise Care Egypt, a group of international and local organizations and individuals, with the aim to build up a captive breeding project for the critically endangered Kleinmann's tortoise (Testudo kleinmanni) which was extirpated in Egypt.[4][5]

She suffered a stroke on 14 March of which she died in the early morning of the 18 March 2013 in a hospital in Giza.[6]

In 1997 and 2005 Dr. Sherif Baha El Din commemorated his wife with the name of the Qattara Gecko (Tarentola mindiae)[7] and the Mount Sinai Gecko (Hemidactylus mindiae).[8][9]


  1. ^ Twitter announcement by Nature Conservation Egypt
  2. ^ BirdLife International: BirdLife mourns the passing of Mindy Baha El Din 20 March 2013
  3. ^ Deutsche Welle: Egypt mourns eco-activist Mindy Baha El Din 20 March 2013
  4. ^ Tortoise Trust
  5. ^ Scientific American Frontiers: Sherif and Mindy Baha El Din
  6. ^ Louise Sarant: Egypt’s environment loses one of its most ardent supporters: Mindy Baha el Din In: Egypt Independent, 18 March 2013.
  7. ^ Baha El Din, S.M. 1997. A new species of Tarentola (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from the Western Desert of Egypt. African J. Herpetol. 46 (1): 30-35.
  8. ^ Baha El Din, Sherif M. 2005. An overview of Egyptian species of Hemidactylus (Gekkonidae), with the description of a new species from the high mountains of South Sinai. Zoology in the Middle East 34: 11-26.
  9. ^ Beolens, B.; Watkins, M.; Grayson, M. 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. ("Mindy Baha El Din", p. 178).