Dr. Monia Mazigh 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, gaining the most votes for her riding in the history of 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 and was offered compensation for the “terrible ordeal” his family had suffered. Dr. Mazigh has since authored a book called Hope and Despair, published with McLellan and Stewart in 2008. The memoir documents her ordeal after her husband was arrested and how she campaigned to clear his name. Hope and Despair was shortlisted for the Book Award of the City of Ottawa. In 2014, her first novel, Mirrors and Mirages has been publsihed by House of Anansi. It was the finalist of the City of Ottawa Book Award and of the Trillium Award in its orginal French version. In 2017, Dr. Mazigh published at House of Anansi, her second novel, Hope Has Two Daughters. It was the finalist to the Champlain Book award. Dr. Mazigh presently lives in Ottawa with her husband and two children.