Anam Zakaria is the author of 1971: A People’s History from Bangladesh, Pakistan and India (Penguin Random House 2019), Between the Great Divide: A Journey into Pakistan-administered Kashmir (HarperCollins Publishers 2018) and The Footprints of Partition: Narratives of Four Generations of Pakistanis and Indians (HarperCollins Publishers 2015) which won the 2017 KLF-German Peace Prize. Anam also writes frequently on issues of conflict and peace. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, CBC, Toronto Star, Al Jazeera, The Hill Times, Scroll.in, TheWire.in and Dawn.
Through her writing, Anam explores state narratives, oral histories, intergenerational memory and the politics of remembering and forgetting. She has documented narratives of genocide, war, sexual violence and displacement. Anam also studies the construction of the ‘other’ and works with young students to challenge stereotypes and prejudices.
She has an academic background in International Development (McGill University) and Anthropology (University of Toronto) and holds a diploma in counselling from the Counselling and Psychotherapy Central Awarding Body (CPCAB), UK.
Apart from her writing, Anam has twelve years of senior leadership experience in the non-profit sector. She has worked in the fields of culture, history, education, civic engagement, volunteerism and immigration. She has previously served as Director at The Citizens Archive of Pakistan, connecting thousands of children across India, Pakistan and the U.S. and documenting hundreds of oral histories of the Partition generation. She has also served as Director at the Association for the Development of Pakistan, leading their education sector, and as Head of Fellowships at Code for Pakistan, where she currently services as Vice President – Fellowships, leading programs that foster civic engagement and improve public service delivery. Between 2013-2019, Anam also taught Sociology, Development Studies and Global Perspectives to high school students.
More recently, Anam has worked in the settlement sector of Canada to support newcomers and refugees and is currently leading the DiverseCity Fellows program at CivicAction, an award-winning leadership experience for diverse rising leaders in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area who are looking to amplify their leadership skills, grow their network, explore social issues, and discover how to make a positive change in their communities. The DiverseCity Fellows program works to boost civic engagement and build better, more inclusive cities.
Anam is an Asia 21 Young Leader and is based in Toronto. Alongside her work as a development professional, she is currently also working on a novel, supported by a writing grant from the Canada Council for the Arts, and documenting oral histories of immigrants with her partner, Haroon Khalid, through their artist collective, Qissa. She has also mentored and taught young writers at the Summer Institute, International Writing Program (University of Iowa), and is on the advisory board for Project Dastaan.