Monia Mazigh | Board of Directors

Dr. Monia Mazigh is an academic, novelist and human rights advocate. She was born and raised in Tunisia and immigrated to Canada in 1991. She speaks Arabic, French, and English fluently and holds a Ph.D. in finance from McGill University. Dr. Mazigh has worked at the University of Ottawa and taught at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, British Columbia. In 2004, she ran in the federal election as a candidate for the NDP. 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. It was published in 2008. In 2011, Dr. Mazigh published Miroirs et mirages, a novel about Muslims women. It was shortlisted for the prestigious Trillium Award and for the Ottawa Book Award. The novel was translated in English in 2015 and published by House of Anansi. In 2015, Dr. Mazigh published a novel in French, Du pain et du jasmin about the Arab Spring. Hope Has two Daughters is the English version of this novel that was published in 2017. Dr. Mazigh presently lives in Ottawa with her husband and two children.