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

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

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.

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

Join the Discussion

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

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Videos

Why Is Google Making Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors are changing the way people think about health.

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

More in Video

Just In