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 sought reparations. In January 2007, after a lengthy inquiry, her husband finally received an apology from the Canadian government.

Dr. Mazigh has authored a book called ‘Hope and Despair’ which 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

In 2011, Dr. Mazigh published a novel in French, ‘Miroirs et mirages’ (stories of four Muslim women living in Canada) which 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. She also wrote a second novel about the events of the Arab Spring, ‘Hope has Two Daughters’ published in English in 2017 by Anansi House.

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