In this Chaitime, we talk to author and journalist Zahir Janmohamed. He went to India for the first time in 2002 to Gujarat, India and found himself in the midst of one of the worst incidents of communal violence. He was 25 years old then, and this experience changed his worldview forever and motivated him to work in politics, human rights and now as a journalist and author.
Zahir Janmohamed is based in Portland, Oregon and Ahmedabad, India. He is currently writing a book about the largest ghetto of Muslims in India, an area known as Juhapura.
He has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, where he was the inaugural co-recipient of the Anne Cox Chambers fellowship for long-form journalism, as well as from the Mesa Refuge, the Djerassi Resident Arts Program, the Norman Mailer Center, and the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto.
His articles have appeared in The New York Times, Foreign Policy, Guernica, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, Newsweek, The Boston Review, The Guardian, Scroll India, and many other publications.At the moment, he is a regular contributor to The Economic Times.
Prior to working on his book, he spent a decade working in politics. From 2006 to 2009, he worked as the Advocacy Director for Amnesty International where he managed the organization’s lobbying, public outreach, and media work on the Middle East and North Africa. While at Amnesty International, he appeared on CNN, Fox News, BBC, NPR, and Al Jazeera. He has briefed senior officials at the White House and the State Department and authored numerous Congressional resolutions. In 2009, he was asked to testify before the US Congress about human rights abuses in the UAE. As a result, he was given an award by the UN for his commitment to human rights.
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