Monia Mazigh moved to Canada from Tunisia in 1991, first to Montreal, and then to Ottawa in 1997 with her husband, Maher Arar. She has a daughter, Baraa, and son, Houd.
She received a PhD in Finance from McGill University and has worked as a research assistant at the University of Ottawa, a finance manager in a small business and a French language instructor. She is fluent in French, English and Arabic.
Monia became a passionate advocate for human rights in 2002 when Maher Arar was deported to Syria by U.S. authorities. She mounted an extensive campaign to bring her husband home, and then successfully pressured the government to call a public inquiry into his deportation. Her unrelenting efforts reminded all Canadians not just of her own family's struggle, but the dangerous impact of security legislation on the rights of all citizens.
Her leadership and dedication garnered a nomination as The Globe and Mail's 2003 "Nation-builder of the year".