Maryam Al-Khawaja, in her new role as Europe director, is leading the development of PHR’s presence in Europe. Her focus is on international advocacy, partnerships and coalition development, and furthering PHR’s mission to raise awareness of human rights injustices. This work is built upon Maryam’s 10-year career as a human rights activist and defender, during which time she has spoken around the globe on the atrocities that have occurred in Bahrain, and has testified at a wide variety of global government hearings, councils, and panels.
Before coming to PHR, Al-Khawaja served as a consultant, trainer, and expert on human rights to NGOs, and held the positions of co-director for the Gulf Center for Human Rights and as acting president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights.
Prior to working with both centers, Al-Khawaja was a leading voice in human rights and influential in shaping official responses to the atrocities in Bahrain and the Gulf through her engagement and interaction with prominent policymakers from around the world. She has received multiple awards and recognition of her work, and shared a joint nomination for a Nobel Peace Prize with her sister and her father, who is currently imprisoned in Bahrain on a life sentence for his role in the 2011 Bahrain pro-democracy uprising.
Currently based in Denmark, Al-Khawaja is a graduate of the University of Bahrain, with a degree in English Literature and American Studies, and was a Fulbright Scholar at Brown University. She is fluent in English, Arabic, and Danish, and speaks basic Farsi.