Maher Arar came to public attention after he was rendered by American authorities to Syria, his native country. While imprisoned there he was subjected to torture and other degrading and inhumane treatment. He was eventually released and a public inquiry was called in Canada which cleared his name. Maher is a passionate advocate of human rights and is a frequent speaker at national security related events. He recently founded Prism (www.prism-magazine.com), an online not-for-profit magazine that focuses on the in-depth coverage and analysis of national security related issues.
Maher's persistent and disciplined struggle has garnered him multiple recognitions and awards. TIME magazine chose Maher as the “Canadian Newsmaker of the Year” for 2004, and in 2007, the same magazine named him to the TIME 100, its annual listing of 100 most influential people in the world. He was also named “The Nation Builder” by the Globe and Mail for the year 2006. Some of the awards he received include the Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights award from the Institute of Policy Studies, an award by the Council of Canadians to recognize the unique sacrifices and contributions he made to Canadian society, the CAIR-CAN human rights advocacy award and the Reg Robson award by the BCCLA for the substantial and long-lasting contribution to the cause of civil liberties in Canada.
Maher received a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from McGill University and a Master’s degree in Telecommunications from the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique. He holds two Doctorate degrees: a Doctorate of Electrical Engineering at the University of Ottawa and an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Nippising University. During his professional career, Maher worked for various software and wireless start-ups where he made important technical contributions. He has a patent pending related to multiple antennas technology.