My Story

 

Scholar. Speaker. Storyteller.

Farhana Qazi is an American Muslim researcher born in the cultural city of Lahore, Pakistan. As a baby, she migrated to a small town in Tennessee until her family moved to the heart of Texas, where she spent her childhood and young adult life. Which makes her a Tex-Punjabi, the latter in reference to the province and the language spoken in northern Pakistan. As a child, she learned to speak English, French, some Spanish, and Urdu, the national language of Pakistan. Later, she took classes in classical Arabic and modern standard Arabic, two very different and rich languages. Her cultural heritage and spiritual background helped prepare her for a career in counter-terrorism. 

Farhana began her career in the U.S. government trying to understand why some Muslims kill in the name of a beautiful, loving religion. After government service, she continued to research and travel around the world, talking to victims of violence and meeting some of the most violent men and women–the cruel perpetrators who destroy their own lives and damage families, communities, and countries. These experiences eventually formed the basis of her first non-fiction book – a collection of stories of survival called SECRETS OF THE KASHMIR VALLEY, which was originally published in India in 2016, and which moved award-winning filmmaker Ross Kaufman to say the book “connects us to the intense, complex and remarkably strong women of Kashmir…Rich with detail, this powerful book provides emotional insight into this divided region.” Editor of an award-winning travel magazine Porter Fox said “the only thing more enlightening would be to travel there yourself.” Fiction writer Betsy Ashton calls the book “Smart and soulful.”

In September 2018, Farhana will release her second non-fiction book, INVISIBLE MARTYRS (the true stories of women and girls who join violent extremism) which will help anyone wanting to understand how dangerous females turn to violence to resolve personal conflict. Ultimately, the book provides solutions to the global threat and offers hope for the future. 
 
Farhana is a highly sought-after speaker and instructor. Based on her knowledge of events in the Muslim world, Ms. Qazi lectures to a wide audience, including the U.S. military, government officials, universities, conferences, and global institutions. She is quoted in media around the world, including The New York Times, The New York Post, The International Herald Tribune, Foreign Policy, Newsweek, The Middle East Times, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Oxford Analytica, Reuters, CTC Sentinel, Dawn, United Press International Associated Press, Globe and Mail, Emirates Today, The Wall Street Journal, Al Jazeera, McClatchy Newspapers, The Austin American Statesman, The Baltimore Sun, The Council on Foreign Relations, Marie Claire, MSNBC and more. 

She has been featured on CNN, BBC, PBS, Al-Jazeera, FOX, National Public Radio (NPR), C-Span, Voice of America, Bloomberg television, as well as the international press, including Canadian, Afghan and Pakistani state television programs. 

Farhana graduated from The Security Policy Studies Program at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and holds a Bachelors of Arts from Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX. 
 

Awards & Recognition

 21st Century Leader Award In recognition of her efforts, Ms. Qazi was selected by The National Committee on American Foreign Policy (NCAFP) in New York to receive the 21st Century Leader Award. The award was created to recognize the achievements of individuals aged 40 and under who display a serious commitment to furthering the United States’ national security interests that accord with the principles of political realism. In the award letter, President George Schwab wrote, “Your expertise and experience in the Afghanistan/Pakistan region is undeniably relevant to American foreign policy today, and your commitment to promoting a clear understanding of the region and the conflicts it endures are unique and outstanding examples of what the spirit of the award embodies.”

Distinguished Humanitarian Award The Alumni Association at Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX (a private Methodist liberal arts college) chose Ms. Qazi to receive this award for her professional accomplishments and her unique ability to teach culture and religion across the U.S. Government. In his presentation, Dr. Eric Selbin said of Ms. Qazi, “Today, your colleagues say that your ability to work across different cultures and religions, and your balanced understanding of extremist movements have aided in homeland security efforts and kept your fellow Americans safe. You brought and lived out your differences on the sheltered Southwestern campus in ways that enhanced all who were fortunate to be around you. You spent untold hours teaching others about your culture and your world. You changed people’s lives and world views. Farhana, you venerate truth and knowledge and have risked your life to uncover both, so much so that the Civilian Affairs Battalion at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, awarded you a badge of honor and certificate of appreciation for your work in preparing soldiers for deployment. Farhana, for “being Southwestern” on an international scale; for your ability as a natural storyteller to lead your audience into the hearts and minds of your subjects; and for your undying work toward the betterment of humanity.”

 

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