Alex Fattal, PhD Candidate, Harvard University
Co-founder and Director, Free the Hikers
Founder, Disparando Camaras para la Paz
Bogotá, Colombia

“Farah Mawani volunteered to help in the campaign to free my brother Josh Fattal and his friends from their unjust and arbitrary incarceration in Iran. Farah quickly became the single most important supporter and the campaign’s online organizer, which was a crucial role in the international Free the Hikers effort; that included world leaders such as Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and President Barack Obama, as well as international humanitarian figures such as Desmond Tutu and Muhammad Ali.

Farah’s contribution to the campaign in many ways outweighed the involvement of many of these luminaries as she managed to maintain a constant focus on my brother’s plight through her tireless online efforts. Using social media, Farah helped build action-based empathy that translated into over 50,000 supporters globally. She showed leadership online and off- organizing simultaneous events in over 40 locations, building partnerships and collaborating with a vast array of people and organizations around the world.

I have been especially impressed by Farah’s unwavering energy, creativity and leadership while she herself has been intensely personally affected by the complex, unpredictable and painful circumstances of Josh’s unjust detainment.”

Laura Simich, Associate Professor
Affiliate Scientist and Research Director, Center on Immigration and Justice
Vera Institute of Justice, New York, NY

“Ms. Mawani has consistently shown leadership in carrying out workplace responsibilities and in a volunteer capacity.  As a project coordinator, she was key in organizing a nation-wide study of children’s mental health and other studies of social support among immigrant groups, which necessitated management of diverse types of people and sensitive issues.  In the same years, she volunteered time as a representative to a national women’s organization, as a student leader in her department at the university, and as board member of an important community health center in downtown Toronto, focused on serving immigrants and refugees.

Since then, she has continued to lend her considerable abilities to current social causes, including the freeing of innocent prisoners abroad.  The common thread in these initiatives has been her ability to use her professional training to build the capacity of organizations or groups and to act as a catalyst for change and justice.”

Janis Puracal, Attorney
Sister of Jason Puracal, Wrongfully detained in Nicaragua
Seattle, WA

“I wanted to thank you for your mention on International Womens Day.  My family is so grateful for the support and awareness you bring to Jason’s struggle.  If there is ever anything I can do to return the favor, please let me know.”

Sarah Maslin Nir
For Hikers Imprisoned in Iran, an Expansive Online Campaign
The Lede, New York Times

“While the fate of the hikers has been in flux, one thing has remained constant: the far-reaching campaign for their freedom.”

Marta Turnbull
Oneupweb : Use it for Good
StraightUpSearch, Oneupweb

“And a great happy ending this past September when Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer were released from Iranian imprisonment. Much thanks to an aggressive social media following that was active in creating awareness and petitioning governments.”

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