Fatima Ayub

Fatima Ayub

: Photo from Creative Commons / Author of Photo: Security & Defence Agenda


* Spokeswoman for the Palestine Solidarity Movement
* Anti-Israel activist who supports Hamas
* Co-Chair of Muslim Student Association
* Staff member of Human Rights Watch

Fatima Ayub earned a bachelor’s degree in International Politics from George Mason University in 2002, and a master’s degree in International Studies from Johns Hopkins University in 2005. During her time at George Mason, Ayub co-chaired the political task force of the school’s Muslim Students Association. She was also vice president of both the Arab Student Association and the campus chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine. As an undergraduate, Ayub wrote an academic paper titled The Ongoing Quest for Legitimacy: Hamas in the Intifadaat.

At Johns Hopkins, Ayub was a spokeswoman for the Palestine Solidarity Movement‘s (PSM’s) national organizing committee. In November 2003, she spoke at the Third Annual Palestine Solidarity Movement Conference at Ohio State University, where she praised the Islamic “freedom fighters” in “Afghanistan, Palestine, Iraq and Chechnya”—all locations where al Qaeda had been active. Emphasizing that she and her fellow activists were together “engaged in a world struggle … to achieve equality and freedom in Palestine,” Ayub pledged also to fight for “social justice with the Iraqis, Native Americans, and Black Americans.” Moreover, she condemned the U.S. for waging war in Afghanistan post-9/11.

From 2004-05, Ayub worked for Human Rights Watch‘s Asia Advocacy Program in Washington, DC. In 2006 she was a researcher on international humanitarian law at Amnesty International‘s London office. From 2006-09 she worked in Afghanistan for the International Center for Transitional Justice, examining such matters as security-sector fragmentation and electoral reform. And from 2009-12, she was an advocate at George Soros‘s Open Society Foundations in London and Brussels, where her work and analysis focused on rights protection and political transformation in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia.

In 2012, Ayub became an associate policy fellow in the Middle East & North Africa Program of the European Council on Foreign Relations.

In September 2018 she joined the International Crisis Group as a policy adviser and editor.

Additional Resources:

Further Reading: “Fatima Ayub” (CrisisGroup.org, AlArabiya.net); “Georgetown’s Jihad [on the Upcoming PSM Conference]” (by Lee Kaplan, Middle East Forum, 12-29-2005); “Rutgers Changes Location for Pro-Palestinian [PSM] Forum” (by Associated Press, 8-26-2003); “Students Gather for Palestinian Solidarity Conference” (The Lantern, 11-7-2003).

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