Honours: Dr. Tarek Loubani awarded Bassel Khartabil Fellowship

In recognition of his dedication to using the concepts of open access to design and distribute low-cost medical supplies, Fabricatorz Foundation, Creative Commons, and Mozilla have awarded the prestigious Bassel Khartabil Fellowship to Dr. Tarek Loubani, Associate Professor at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry.

Dr. Loubani is the Medical Director for the Glia project which releases open plans for medical hardware so that medical supplies can be made by anyone with access to a 3D printer. He has recently designed a 3D-printed face shield for those on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic and a prototype for a modified non-invasive ventilator.

“There is no more worthy cause to elevate at this critical moment for humanity than the work of Dr. Tarek Loubani and Glia,” said Bassel Khartabil Fellowship Director Barry Threw in a press release. “After reviewing more than 80 applications from around the world, Dr. Loubani best exemplified the values of service, openness, radical sharing, collaboration, and care which Bassel gave his life for. We hope this honor will galvanize global support around Glia to make medical hardware easily accessible to all of those in need.”

The Fellowship is named in honour of Bassel Khartabil, a Palestinian-Syrian technology innovator who opened the Internet in the Arab World through Open Source Software and Open Hardware. The Bassel Khartabil Fellowship honours his legacy by supporting outstanding individuals or teams developing free culture in their communities under adverse circumstances, promoting the values important to Bassel’s work and life.

“Bassel is a person I didn't know personally, but I respected so much for his dedication to the importance of open access to information and technology. We were also both born as refugees,” said Dr. Loubani. “So, it means something to me from an emotional point of view as well. It’s a unique honour that they thought I would be able to embody the spirit of the fellowship and of Bassel.”