Mona Eltahawy (منى الطحاوي) is an award-winning columnist and an international public speaker on Arab and Muslim issues. She is based in New York.
She is a columnist for Canada's Toronto Star, Israel's The Jerusalem Report and Denmark's Politiken. Her opinion pieces have been published frequently in The Washington Post and the International Herald Tribune and she has appeared as a guest analyst in several media outlets.
Before she moved to the U.S. in 2000, Ms Eltahawy was a news reporter in the Middle East for many years, including in Cairo and Jerusalem as a Reuters correspondent and she reported for various media from Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Libya, Syria, Saudi Arabia and China. Ms Eltahawy was the first Egyptian journalist to live and to work for a western news agency in Israel.
Her public speaking has taken her around the world, including to the first TEDWomen where she spoke about the virtues of confusion in breaking stereotypes of Muslim women.
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.
Ms. Eltahawy is a lecturer and researcher on the growing importance of social media in the Arab world. She has taught as an adjunct at the New School in New York, the University of Oklahoma and the U.N.-mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica.
Mona was born on Aug. 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.