Renowned Author, Columnist and Humanitarian
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Fatima Bhutto has spoken widely about leadership especially regarding women, the role of violence in politics, press freedom among many other topics. Without a doubt, she is a highly accomplished, entertaining and passionate speaker.
Fatima was born under curfew in Kabul, Afghanistan in 1982. Her father, Murtaza, was in exile from his home country of Pakistan whose military junta had executed his father, Pakistan’s first democratically elected head of state Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, three years before. Before Zulfikar was hanged, he ordered his two sons to leave Pakistan, he feared that he would be killed and that they would be next.
Though Fatima spent her childhood in Damascus, Syria before returning to Pakistan, politics and the violence that accompanied it was never far behind. In 1985 her uncle Shahnawaz Bhutto was murdered and her father, a member of parliament in Pakistan, was killed outside their home in 1996. In 2007, her aunt Benazir also lost her life violently.
Fatima studied Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures at Columbia University, before completing a Masters in South Asian Government and Politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies. She published her first book, a volume of poetry ‘Whispers of the Desert’ (Oxford University Press) when she was 15 years old. Fatima began her writing career with a weekly column for Jang, Pakistan’s largest Urdu newspaper, and The News, its English sister paper, which included written diaries from Tehran, Iran, Cuba and Lebanon during the 2006 summer war.
Her work has since appeared in The Financial Times, Granta, Vogue UK and Vogue India, The NewStatesman, Porter, The Nation and The Guardian, among other publications. Fatima’s published works include a collection of first-hand accounts from survivors of the 2005 Pakistan earthquake, a non-fiction account of Pakistani politics and her family, and a novel, , which was long listed for the Bailey’s Prize in 2014 and won the Prix de la Romanciere in 2014.
In 2012, she was selected to be a Young Global Leader for the World Economics Forum, one of 192 YGLs from 59 countries, all of whom were chosen for their outstanding leadership, professional accomplishments and commitment to society.
Fatima is a highly eloquent speaker, with a diverse range of subjects including; leadership, women and politics, the challenges of democracy, women’s leadership and the Middle East and South Asia. Previous speaking engagements include Airbnb, Merrill Lynch, Swedbank, Flight Centre, Escada, Louis Vuitton, Roger Vivier, One Young World, Marka and India Today.
"The speech was utterly superb. A moving look at Film and Propaganda that was completely fascinating and insightful." The Power Of Film
"We have received nothing but wonderful feedback from the delegates and from our senior management team. Fatima eloquently delivered insights to her world. She was mesmerising. And she was so on brief. We were honoured to have her speak to our delegation and we can't thank her enough for her participation." Flight Centre
"Fatima Bhutto was fantastic. A number of delegates congratulated me on choosing her partly because she was so good - but also she has a unique story and perspective. She was the absolute highlight." The Association Of Colleges