Monia Mazigh

Author and Human Rights Advocate

Region(s): Middle East
Country of focus: Syria, Tunisia
Based in Ottawa

Dr. Monia Mazigh (@MoniaMazigh) is Canadian author, human rights advocate and academic born and raised in Tunisia. Dr. Mazigh was catapulted onto the public stage in 2002 when her husband Maher Arar was deported to Syria where he was tortured and held without charge for over a year. During that time, Dr. Mazigh campaigned vigorously for her husband’s release and later fought to re-establish his reputation and successfully sought reparations. In January 2007, after a lengthy inquiry, her husband finally received an apology from the Canadian government.

Dr. Mazigh’s book Hope and Despair  documents her ordeal after her husband was arrested and how she campaigned to clear his name. She has written for the Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, the Ottawa Citizen, Le Devoir and other newspapers and is a columnist for Rabble.ca.

Dr. Mazigh won the Ottawa Book Award for French fiction in 2021 for her novel Farida. In 2011, her French novel Miroirs et mirages, stories of four Muslim women living in Canada, was shortlisted for the prestigious Ontario Trillium award, for the Ottawa Book Award and for the Book Award of the Salon du Livre de Toronto. Her novel about the events of the Arab Spring, Hope has Two Daughters, was published in English in 2017 by Anansi House.

Dr. Mazigh  lives in Ottawa, and holds a PhD from McGill University.