Mona Eltahawy was born in Egypt and has lived in the U.K, Saudi Arabia and Israel and is currently based in New York. She is a board member of the Progressive Muslim Union of North America. She gained American citizenship in 2011.She is an award-winning New York-based journalist and commentator and an international lecturer on Arab and Muslim issues. 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”.
Her opinion pieces have appeared frequently in the International Herald Tribune, The Washington Post and the pan-Arab Asharq al-Awsat newspaper and she has also published opeds in The New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, Egypt’s al-Dostour and Lebanon’s Daily Star. She recently became a columnist for the major Danish daily Politiken and the online commentary site www.saudidebate.com.
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.
Mona Eltahawy was a news reporter in the Middle East for many years, including in Cairo and Jerusalem as a correspondent for Reuters and she reported from the region for The Guardian and U.S. News and World Report.
Since she moved to the U.S. in 2000, Ms Eltahawy’s views on Arab and Muslim issues have become sought after by producers and college campuses alike. She has been a guest analyst on ABC Nightline, PBS Frontline, BBC TV and Radio, The Doha Debates, CNN, Al-Arabiya, Al-Hurra, MSNBC, VOA, Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor and various NPR shows.
Mona speaks publicly at universities, panel discussions and interfaith gatherings on human rights and reform in the Islamic world, feminism and Egyptian Muslim-Christian relations in addition to her other concerns. In November 2006, she was named Distinguished Visiting Professor at the American University in Cairo, her alma mater.