Lina Ben Mhenni is an activist, the author of the popular blog “ATunisianGirl, a human rights defender, an ex- teacher assistant of linguistics at Tunis University (Faculty of Human and Social Sciences), a freelance translator and a writer.
She was born in Tunisia on May 22nd, 1983. Based in Tunis, she reported from all across her country during the 2O1O-2O11, revolution. She risked her safety as one of the few Tunisian cyber activists to criticize the repressive government openly on the Internet and international broadcasts before the ousting of the dictator Zine Al Abidine Ben Ali.
Indeed, under ZineAl Abidine Ben Ali’s dictatorship, her blog was one of the most revealing and scathing criticisms of Tunisian society, focusing on issues like women’s rights and press freedom. She used to write for Global Voices Online.
After unrest began in Tunisia in December 2010, Ben Mhenni began traveling across the country to take photos and video footage of the protests and people who were attacked in the ensuing government crackdowns. She visited local hospitals and took pictures of those injured or killed by the police. She furthermore reported for many websites and news TV channels (Al Jazeera, Al Jazeera English, France24) when foreign journalists could not access the country.
Often described as one of the bravest bloggers in the world, much of Ben Mhenni’s writing focuses on freedom of expression and the rights of women and students. Currently, she writes about the incomplete state of Tunisia’s revolution and campaigns for continued reform and democracy.
She had many journalistic experiences as she wrote for several international newspapers like the Guardian, la Repubblica, CNN.com.
She published a book that was translated into several languages: A Tunisian Girl, blogger for an Arab Spring and wrote in several collective books. She took part in many international conferences like the Oslo Freedom Forum and Geneva Human Rights Summit.
Now, she is mainly working on an initiative to collect books for prisons as an attempt to promote human rights culture and to fight extermism. She is also part of Be Tounsi a group launched by a group of Tunisian women to promote Tunisian artisanal handicraft.
Lina Ben Mhenni has received sevral national and inetrnational awards and honors including:
Young Global Leader Class of 2015, BOB Awards, Germany 2011.
Jonas Weis Memorial Award, Sweden 2011.
Grand Prix du World e.gov Forum, France 2011.
Premio Ipazia, Italy2011.
El Mundo’s International Journalism Prize, Spain 2011.
Premio Roma Per La Pace et l’Azione Umanitaria, Roma 2011.
Power 500 The World’s Most Influential Arabs ( http://power500.arabianbusiness.com/power-500-2012/profile/15415/#.UnvVtKWqOCR), 2012.
100 Most Powerful Women 2012. (http://www.arabianbusiness.com/100-most-powerful-arab-women-2012-448295.html?view=profile&itemid=448207#.UnvXbaWqOCQ)
Sean MacBride Peace Award, Ireland 2012.
Premio Minerva Anna Maria Mammoliti, Italy 2012.
Amnesty femmes pour les Droits humains, Maroc 2012.
PrixAlsacien de l’Engagement Démocratique, France 2012.
100 Most Powerful Arab Women , 2013 (http://arabic.arabianbusiness.com/gallery/2013/mar/4/325151/?img=50#.UnvWuaWqOCQ
Médaille d’Honneur de la Faculté des Sciences Humaines et Sociales de Tunis, 2013.
Premio per la Cultura Mediterranea – Fondazione Carical, Italy 2013.
Premio Ischia Internazionale di Giornalismo, Italy 2014.
Among the World’s 100 Most Powerful Arabs 2014 (ArabianBusiness.com)
Among the 50 Powerful Women 2014 ( Saidaty) .