(In order of appearance)

Ved Mehta

The author of 27 acclaimed books of fiction and nonfiction, the Lahore-born (b. 1934) and U.S.-educated Mehta was a staff writer at The New Yorker from 1960 to 1993. He has won multiple awards for his work. Mehta is a Fellow at Balliol College, Oxford, and at the Royal Society of Literature. He lives in New York.

Ian Talbot

Professor of Modern British History at the University of Southampton, Talbot has recently completed a coauthored major study of Partition and its aftermath for the Cambridge University Press series New Approaches to Asian History. It builds on his 2006 monograph, Divided Cities: Partition and Its Aftermath in Lahore and Amritsar 1947-57.

Tahir Kamran

Chairman of the Department of History at Government College University, Lahore, Kamran was the Allama Iqbal Professorial Fellow at Cambridge from 2010 to 2015. He is a prolific author and translator and his works include Lahore: A Portrait of a Colonial City (coauthored with Ian Talbot).

Yasmin Khan

An Associate Professor at Oxford University, Khan is the author of, among others, The Great Partition: The Making of India and Pakistan. She is also a trustee of the Charles Wallace India Trust and an editor of the History Workshop Journal. She has delivered public lectures and talks in the U.K., Nepal, Pakistan, India, and the U.S.

Kamila Shamsie

Born in Karachi in 1973, novelist Shamsie has a B.A. in Creative Writing from Hamilton College, and an M.F.A. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her debut novel, In the City by the Sea, was shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. Her latest novel, Home Fire, was long-listed for the 2017 Man Booker Prize.

Mirza Waheed

Kashmir-born novelist and journalist Waheed’s debut novel, The Collaborator, was shortlisted for The Guardian First Book Award. He has written for the BBC, The Guardian, Al Jazeera English, and The New York Times. His second novel, The Book of Gold Leaves, was shortlisted for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2016. He lives in London.

Tahmima Anam

Anthropologist and novelist Anam’s debut novel, A Golden Age, won the 2008 Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book. In 2013, she was named one of Granta’s Best Young British Novelists. She writes opeds for The New York Times and was a judge for the 2016 Man Booker Prize. Born in Dhaka, she was educated at Mount Holyoke and Harvard. She lives in London.

Razia Iqbal

Kampala-born Iqbal is BBC’s leading arts and books journalist. She has interviewed the world’s leading contemporary writers and thinkers, including Nobel laureate Toni Morrison. Iqbal hosted BBC’s popular Talking Books program.

Muneeza Shamsie

Writer, critic, and editor, Karachi-based Shamsie’s latest work, Hybrid Tapestries, provides a literary history of English-language literature in Pakistan. She is the Bibliographic Representative (Pakistan) of The Journal of Commonwealth Literature and is on the International Advisory Board of The Journal of Postcolonial Writing.

Aamer Hussein

Karachi-born Hussein is the author of five acclaimed collections of short stories, the award-winning 37 Bridges (2015) being his most recent. He’s also authored two novels, including Another Gulmohar Tree. He writes in English and Urdu and lives in London.

Amina Yaqin

Yaqin teaches at SOAS focusing on Urdu language and literature, postcolonial literature and theory, gender studies, and politics in Pakistan. She is a coauthor of Framing Muslims: Stereotyping and Representation after 9/11 (2011).

Madhur Jaffrey

The Queen of Curries, Jaffrey mainstreamed cuisine from the Indian subcontinent in the West with her cookbooks and TV series. Seven of her books have won the James Beard Award. She is also an award-winning actress and was graced with an honorary CBE by Queen Elizabeth II for her work in both fields. She lives in New York City.

Sumayya Usmani

Recognized by BBC Good Food as the U.K.’s go-to expert on Pakistani cuisine, Karachi-born Usmani’s debut cookbook, Summers under the Tamarind Tree, came out last year and was shortlisted for a Food & Travel Award and the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Award. Her second book, Mountain Berries and Desert Spice, was released in April.

Elizabeth Collingham

Associate Fellow at the University of Warwick’s History Department, Dr. Collingham has authored, among others, The Taste of War: World War II and the Battle for Food, Curry: A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors, and Imperial Bodies: The Physical Experience of the British Raj. She is currently working on a book about the food history of the British Empire.

Nur Sobers-Khan

Lead Curator for South Asian Collections at the British Library, Sobers-Khan is responsible for books and manuscripts written in Perso-Arabic script. She is also the Principle Investigator of the ongoing AHRC/Newton Babha-funded Two Centuries of Indian Print project, which is digitizing the British Library’s early printed Bengali book collections.

Sâqib Bâburî

Curator, Persian Manuscripts, British Library.

Layli Uddin

Project Curator, Two Centuries of Indian Print.

Penny Brook

Head of India Office Records, British Library.


The world’s youngest Nobel Prize laureate, icon, author, and global activist for girls’ education.

Sarfraz Manzoor

Writer, broadcaster, journalist, and documentary maker Manzoor has worked with the BBC, Channel 4 News, Radio 4, and Radio 2. His written works have appeared in The Guardian, Daily Mail, Marie Claire, The Independent, The Observer, Uncut, Spectator, Prospect, and New Statesman.

Baroness Shreela Flather

Baroness Flather, the great-granddaughter of Sir Ganga Ram, was born in Lahore in 1934. Flather studied law in London in the 50s. In 1976, she became the first nonwhite woman in the U.K. to be elected councillor. A decade later she was elected as mayor to the royal borough of Windsor and Maidenhead. She was the first Asian woman to receive a peerage.

Nayyar Ali Dada

Born Nayyar Ali Zaidi in New Delhi, his family migrated to Pakistan in the 50s. At the NCA, one of his teachers named him ‘Dada’ in recognition of his extraordinary skills. Dada is Pakistan’s most celebrated and accomplished architect who has singlehandedly transformed Lahore’s skyline. He is also a founding member of the Lahore Conservation Society and a multiple award winner.

Sarah Ansari

Professor of History at Royal Holloway, University of London, Ansari’s work focuses on South Asia, particularly Partition and what is now Pakistan. She has contributed chapters to several books and is currently researching on the development of Sindh province since 1947

Dr. Maleeha Lodhi

Presently Pakistan’s Permanent Representative at the U.N., New York, Dr. Lodhi was previously ambassador to the U.S. (1993-1996 and 1999-2002) and High Commissioner to the U.K. (2003-2008). She was the first woman to edit a Pakistani daily and also edited, most recently, Pakistan: Beyond the ‘Crisis State,’ now in its fifth run.

Baroness Sayeeda Warsi

The former co-chair of the Conservative Party (2010-2012), Baroness Warsi also has the distinction of being the first Muslim to become a cabinet minister in London (2012-2014). She resigned her cabinet post in protest against her government’s Gaza policy. At 36, she became the youngest member of the House of Lords.

Christina Lamb

The author of Waiting for Allah: Pakistan’s Struggle for Democracy and co-writer of Malala’s book, I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban, Lamb, OBE, is an award-winning journalist. She is currently the foreign affairs correspondent for The Sunday Times and lives with her husband and son between London and Portugal.

Owen Bennett-Jones

Former BBC journalist Bennett-Jones has reported from Islamabad, Bucharest, Hanoi, Beirut, Geneva. In 2012, he was the Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton. He is the author of Pakistan: Eye of the Storm, a can’t-put-down rundown on the country’s political history. He has written for The Financial Times, The Guardian, New Republic, and the London Review of Books.

Zehra Nigah

Acclaimed Urdu-language poet

Arfa Sayeda Zehra

Professor of History at Lahore’s Forman Christian College, Zehra is a former principal of the Lahore College for Women and has taught at the Lahore University of Management Sciences, the National College of Arts, and the School of Public Policy. In 2006, Zehra served as chairperson of Pakistan’s National Commission on the Status of Women.

Dr. Asif Farrukhi

Karachi-based fiction writer, critic, translator, and Habib University teacher, Farrukhi is the author of seven short-story collections two critical-essay collections. He is editor of the Urdu-language literary journal Duniyazad, and was the recipient of the Prime Minister’s Literary Award from the Pakistan Academy of Letters in 1997.

Shezad Dawood,

London-born Dawood’s ambitious Leviathan project—which will be unveiled episodically over the next three years—comprises a novel, paintings, sculptures, and a series of talks on the environment, democracy, and migration. His previous works have been featured at galleries across the world, including India, the U.K., and Canada.

Vali Malhouji

London-based curator Mahlouji is an independent adviser to the British Museum. In 2010 he founded the Archaeology of the Final Decade, a platform dedicated to researching histories of nations that have suffered cultural annihilation. He is the first Iranian artist to have a dedicated room at the Tate Modern’s permanent collection for exhibiting works from the project.

Prof. Ashoke Chatterjee

Chatterjee served as executive director of Ahmedabad’s National Institute of Design, as honorary president of the Crafts Council of India, and as a director on the board of Aid to Artisans. His latest book, Rising, was published in 2011 and dealt with his development experience in Gujarat state.

Adeela Suleman

Born in Karachi in 1970, Suleman studied sculpture at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture and earned an M.A. in International Relations from the University of Karachi. She has participated in numerous group and solo exhibitions worldwide, including Asia Society’s Hanging Fire.

Prof. Shehnaz Ismail

A founding member of the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, Karachi, Ismail is regarded as one of Pakistan’s leading practitioners of crafts. She was awarded the President of Pakistan’s Pride of Performance Award in 2014 for her contributions to the visual arts and education.

Prof. Salima Hashmi

The former principal of the National College of Arts, Hashmi is an acclaimed artist, writer, curator, editor, and social activist. She is the eldest daughter of Pakistan’s most renowned poet, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, and British-born Alys Faiz. Her most recent book was The Eye Still Seeks—an authoritative survey of contemporary art in Pakistan.

Tina Sani

One of Pakistan’s most enthralling singers, Sani received the President of Pakistan’s Pride of Performance Award in 2004 and the President of India’s Performance Recognition Award in 2011 during the Faiz Ahmed Faiz centennial. She trained with Ustad Nizamuddin Khan Sahib, son of Ustad Ramzan Khan Sahib of the famed Delhi gharana and later with Ustad Chand Amrohvi.