Mona Eltahawy is a freelance Egyptian journalist based in America who for a long period wrote a weekly column for the Saudi-owned international Arab publication Asharq Al-Awsat before her articles were discontinued for being 'too critical' of the Egyptian regime, she claimed in an article she wrote for the International Herald Tribune.
However, the ban imposed by Asharq Al-Awsat helped Eltahawy gain more credibility and she now writes essays and op-eds for different publications worldwide, typically on Egypt and the Islamic world, including women's issues and Muslim political and social affairs. Eltahawy is active in the Progressive Muslim Union, and has been a strong critic of the Egypt-based Muslim Brotherhood. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, and the Miami Herald among others.
Eltahawy is a frequent guest analyst on U.S. radio and television news shows. She also speaks publicly at universities, panel discussions and interfaith gatherings on Egypt, the Middle East, human rights and reform in the Islamic world, feminism and Egyptian Muslim-Christian relations. From 2002 to 2004, she was managing editor of the Arabic-language version of Women's eNews, an independent, non-profit news website that covers women's issues from around the world.
Before moving from her native Egypt to the United States in 2000, Eltahawy was a news reporter for 10 years. She was a correspondent for Reuters News Agency in Cairo and Jerusalem, reported from the Middle East for the UK's The Guardian newspaper and was a stringer for U.S. News and World Report.
Eltahawy has a Master of Arts in Journalism from the American University in Cairo.
"the Opium of the Arabs"
The Economist credits Eltahawy with coining the phrase "the opium of the Arabs," referring to "an intoxicating way for (Arab leaders) to forget their own failings or at least blame them on (Israel.) Arab leaders have long practice of using Israel as a pretext for maintaining states of emergency at home and putting off reform."
- Official website of Mona Eltahawy
- Video: Presentation and Q&A with Ralph Begleiter at the University of Delaware February 25, 2009
- Section, "The Opium of the Arabs," in Which way will they go? Jul 23rd 2009, The Economist