Dr. Monia Mazigh
"I had lost my life. I didn’t have more to lose."
Occupation: Author, Humans Rights Advocate, Professor, Politician
- Born and raised in Tunisia, immigrated to Canada in 1991
- In 2002, her husband, Maher Arar, was deported to Syria where he was tortured and held without charge for over a year
- During this time that Dr. Mazigh joined forces with human rights groups to press the government for his release and sought compensation as well as to clear her husband’s name of the false accusations, but it was not until 2007 that the Canadian government apologized
- Dr. Mazigh speaks English, French and Arabic fluently
- She now resides in Ottawa with her husband and two children
Personal and Professional Experiences
- Has a Ph.D. in finance from McGill University
- Worked and taught at the University of Ottawa and at Thompson Rivers University
- In 2004, Dr. Mazigh ran in the federal election as a candidate for the NDP for the Ottawa South riding (gaining the most votes for her riding in the history of the NDP)
- In 2008, she published a memoir, Hope and Despair, that documents the whole situation with her husband and her efforts to help him
- In 2011, Dr. Mazigh endorsed the Canadian Boat to Gaza, part of the Freedom Flotilla 2 which aims to end the Israeli blockade imposed on the 1.6 million Palestinian civilians living in the Gaza Strip
- In 2014, she published her novel, Mirrors and Mirages, that connects feminism and Islam in telling the story of four Muslim women whose lives intersect in Ottawa (nominated for the Trillium Book Award)
- In 2017, Dr. Mazigh published a second novel: Hope has Two Daughters by Anansi House.