100 Most Powerful Arabs Under 40
Mona Seif

Mona Seif

Industry: Culture and society

Designation: Social activist

Country: Egypt

Country of origin: @Monasosh

Age: 29

Growing up in a family of social activists, Seif became aware of many social issues affecting her home country of Egypt from an early age. Her father is a human rights attorney who was imprisoned for five years, while her mother helped organise demonstrations against the Mubarak regime during the decades before his downfall.

Mona’s brother Alaa Abd El Fattah was imprisoned for 45 days for his blog Manalaa, through which he used to document abuses by the Mubarak regime. Following in her family’s footsteps, Seif used social media as her tool to contribute to the 2011 Egyptian revolution and against military trials for civilian protesters.

Her blog is called Tahrir Diaries — Diaries Under Military Rule. She also regularly writes on her blog Ma3t. She is a member of No to Military Trials for Civilians, a group pushing for the release of those detained during the revolution. In 2012, she was a finalist for the Front Line Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk, and in April 2013 it was announced Seif was also a finalist for the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders presented by Human Rights Watch. When she is not busy attempting to solve Egypt’s numerous social problems, Seif — a biology graduate student —  studies the BRCA1 breast cancer gene and its mutation pattern in Egyptian patients.