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Mona Eltahawy

Award-winning Columnist, Activist
 Mona Eltahawy

Mona Eltahawy is an award-winning columnist and an international public speaker on Arab and Muslim issues. She is based in New York.

Her opinion pieces have been published frequently in media across the world, including The Washington Post and the International Herald Tribune and she has appeared as a guest analyst in several media outlets. She was a columnist for the Toronto Star, Jerusalem Report and Politiken until 2011 since when her columns have appeared in the Guardian.

During the 18-day revolution that toppled Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak, she appeared on most major media outlets, leading the feminist website Jezebel to describe her as "The Woman Explaining Egypt to the West". In November 2011, Egyptian riot police beat her, breaking her left arm and right hand, and sexually assaulted her and she was detained for 12 hours by the Interior Ministry and Military Intelligence.

Newsweek magazine named Ms. Eltahawy one of its "150 Fearless Women of 2012," Time magazine featured her along with other activists from around the world as its People of the Year, and Arabian Business magazine named her one of the 100 Most Powerful Arab Women.

Before she moved to the U.S. in 2000, Ms. Eltahawy was a news reporter in the Middle East for many years, including almost six years as a Reuters correspondent, and she reported for various media from Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Libya, Syria, Saudi Arabia and China.

In 2012, the Missouri School of Journalism awarded her its Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism and the Columbia Journalism Review named her as one of 20 women in the media to watch. In 2010 the Anna Lindh Foundation awarded her its Special Prize for Outstanding Contribution to Journalism and the Estlow International Center for Journalism and New Media at the University of Denver gave her its Anvil of Freedom Award. In 2009, the European Union awarded her its Samir Kassir Prize for Freedom of the Press for her opinion writing and Search for Common Ground named her a winner of its Eliav-Sartawi Award for Middle Eastern Journalism.

Mona was born on August 1, 1967 in Port Said, Egypt and has lived in the U.K, Saudi Arabia and Israel. She calls herself a proud liberal Muslim. In 2005, she was named a Muslim Leader of Tomorrow by the American Society for Muslim Advancement and she is a member of the Communications Advisory Group for Musawah, the global movement for justice and equality in the Muslim family.

Video Files

International Speaker Series
Thu, 04/04/2013

Mona Eltahawy: Revolution &the New Middle East

Egyptian-born Mona Eltahawy activist and award-winning columnist - one of Newsweek's “150 Women Who Shake The World" - discusses new democratic realities of the Middle East for women and young people and the Arab Spring two years on. Watch Video ››

Events with this presenter

International Speaker Series (2013)

Revolution and the New Middle East

Mona Eltahawy

Revolution and the New Middle EastThe Arab Spring two years later: What does the road ahead for reform look like? Cited as one of “150 Women Who Shake The World,” by Newsweek, Egyptian-born Mona Eltahawy is an activist and award-winning columnist-commentator (for Reuters, the Washington Post, the Guardian, PBS Frontline, CNN, and others). Read More ››

Headline and Cultural Forums

Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution

Mona Eltahawy

Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual RevolutionEgyptian-American journalist Mona Eltahawy (one of our 2013 International Speaker Series' most riveting presenters) returns to Portland with her new manifesto on misogyny in the Arab world - both a plea for outrage and a call to action Read More ››

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