Writer, journalist and activist
"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
In September 1996, a fourteen-year-old Fatima's father Murtaza Bhutto, son of Pakistan's former President and Prime Minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, and an elected member of parliament, was killed by the police in Karachi during the premiership of his sister. In December 2007, Benazir Bhutto, Fatima's aunt, and the woman she had publicly accused of ordering her father's murder, was assassinated in Rawalpindi.
Fatima graduated from Columbia University in 2004, majoring in Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures and from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in 2005 with a Masters in South Asian Government and Politics.
She wrote a weekly column for Pakistan's largest Urdu newspaper, Jang, and its English sister paper The News for two years, including reportage in the form of written diaries from Tehran, Iran, Cuba and from Lebanon during the 2006 summer war. Her articles have appeared in the New Statesman, Daily Beast, Guardian, the Financial Times, The Nation Magazine, Vogue, and The Caravan Magazine.
Fatima's writing and activism in Pakistan, work that includes community empowerment for women, women's prisons, Karachi's slum populations and archiving the restrictions of the press, has taken her to speak in Mumbai, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Stockholm, and London among other cities.
She is the author of three books: Whispers of the Desert, a volume of poetry, which was published in 1997 when Fatima was 15 years old, by Oxford University Press Pakistan.
8.50 a.m. 8 October 2005, a collection of first-hand accounts from survivors of the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan was published in 2006. The proceeds of which are going back to child survivors of the earthquake, with Oxford University Press Pakistan.
Her third book, Songs of Blood and Sword, published around the world in 2010, is a book of international significance by a young woman who has already established herself as a brave and passionate campaigner. It tells the story of a family of rich feudal landlords - the proud descendants of a warrior caste - who became power brokers in the newly created state of Pakistan. It is an epic tale full of the romance and legend of feudal life, the glamour and license of the international political elite and ultimately, the tragedy of four generations of a family defined by a political idealism that would destroy them. The history of this extraordinary family mirrors the tumultuous events of Pakistan itself, and the quest to find the truth behind her father's murder has led Fatima to the heart of her country's volatile political establishment. It is the history of a nation from Partition through the struggle with India over Kashmir, the Cold War, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan up to the post 9/11 'War on Terror'.
In addition, Fatima has opened the Man Hong Kong Literary Festival, and the Sydney Writers Festival. She has spoken on a range of issues from the media in Pakistan, the status of women, and the war on terror at events in Hay, Edinburgh, Jaipur, New York, and many other cities.
Fatima was selected to be a 'Young Global Leader' for the 2012 World Economics Forum, one of 192 Young Global Leaders from 59 countries, selected out of several thousand candidates. The YGL are chosen for their outstanding leadership, professional accomplishments and commitment to society.
Fatima is without question a highly accomplished and entertaining speaker.
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