Knowledge is Bulletproof
In 2012, three young girls named Malala Yousufzai, Shazia Ramzan and Kainat Riaz were traveling in their school bus in Northern-Pakistan when a Taliban gunman boarded the bus and shot them at close range for their “crime” of wanting to go to school. All three girls fought back their serious injuries and emerged as determined spokespersons for the right of girls to be educated.
In April 2018, I worked on ‘Knowledge is Bulletproof‘ with BBDO Pakistan and SOC Outreach to tell the story of Shazia and Kainat. Proceeds from the sale of this limited edition novella, bound with a cover made of bullet-resistant Kevlar-XP cloth, went towards funding girls’ education in the Swat valley in Pakistan. In August 2018, ‘Knowledge is Bulletproof’ won 1 Gold, 5 Silver, and 7 Bronze awards at Asia’s biggest award show, AD Stars. To buy the book in Pakistan, click here.
Stay Home, Stay Reading
In April 2020, as countries went into lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19, bookshops closed and literature festivals were cancelled, Fatima Bhutto and I started ‘Stay Home, Stay Reading’, a virtual initiative to help authors reach new readers and promote their work. We invited authors around the world to send us videos where they read selections of their works and works they admire, offering stories as a way to escape – even if just for a few moments – the seemingly constant barrage of bad news. The videos were shared on social media, and over X days, we received videos from X writers, including those with massive platforms, such as Rupi Kaur, from Ramallah to New York, in Urdu, Italian, Greek, Hindi, and English, amongst other languages. You can find the videos here.