Mariya Karimjee (2017) is a freelance writer born in Pakistan and raised in the United States. A graduate of the Columbia University School of Journalism, Mariya was selected as the first Kaiser Family Foundation/GlobalPost Fellow, reporting on President Obama’s Global Health Initiative. In 2012 she moved back to Pakistan and reported on the country’s fledgling polio and measles campaigns, women and gender justice, and labor rights. She received a Best in Business Award for her coverage of worker struggles at Pakistan’s shipbreaking yards by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.
In 2015, Mariya wrote a critically-acclaimed essay for The Big Roundtable about learning to forgive her mother, who subjected her at age seven to female genital cutting. The essay was adapted into audio for both WBEZ’s “This American Life” and Radiotopia’s “The Heart.” The production was awarded the prestigious Third Coast/Richard H. Driehaus award for Best Documentary.
Mariya is writing a memoir for Spiegel and Grau, which she will work on while a Logan Nonfiction Program fellow. In it she is exploring cultural displacement by investigating her relationships with members of her family and weaving together stories of her grandparents’ immigration from East Africa to Karachi, her parents’ experience of the American dream, and her evolving view of the religious sect to which her family belongs. Mariya’s writing examines the duality of living in one country that identified her by religion and another that restricted her based on gender.