Why Mona Eltahawy Is 'Happy to Be Called a Radical'

The writer describes the advice she ignored on her way to becoming an activist.

More
User's Guide to Energy Special Report bug
A series of interviews with leaders in media, tech, and the arts
See more

During the 2011 protests in Tahrir Square, Mona Eltahawy was arrested, beaten, and sexually assaulted by Egyptian police. Hands swollen, arms broken, she retaliated with words, describing the experience in tweets that got international press attention. “I’m happy to be called a troublemaker,” she said during an interview for Atlantic Video’s Creative Breakthroughs series.

Once a news reporter, Eltahawy now writes, blogs, and speaks about feminism and political freedom in the Middle East. As her career transitioned, mentors advised her to become a generalist opinion writer, but she refused – she knew she wanted to focus on women’s issues. In the video above, Eltahawy shares more insights on finding her passion.

This interview was filmed at the 2013 Aspen Ideas Festival.

Jump to comments

Emma Green is the assistant managing editor of TheAtlantic.com, where she also oversees the National Channel and writes about religion and culture.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

The Ghost Trains of America

Can a band of locomotive experts save vintage railcars from ruin?


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Video

What If Emoji Lived Among Us?

A whimsical ad imagines what life would be like if emoji were real.

Video

Living Alone on a Sailboat

"If you think I'm a dirtbag, then you don't understand the lifestyle."

Video

How Is Social Media Changing Journalism?

How new platforms are transforming radio, TV, print, and digital

Video

The Place Where Silent Movies Sing

How an antique, wind-powered pipe organ brings films to life

Feature

The Future of Iced Coffee

Are artisan businesses like Blue Bottle doomed to fail when they go mainstream?

Writers

Up
Down

More in Video

Just In