Deeyah Khan is an Emmy and Peabody award-winning documentary film director and founder of Fuuse, a media and arts company that puts women, people from minorities, and third-culture kids at the heart of telling their own stories.
In 2016, Deeyah became the first UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for artistic freedom and creativity. She has received many honours for her work supporting freedom of expression, human rights and peace including the Ossietzky Prize, the University of Oslo’s Human Rights Award and the Peer Gynt Prize from the Parliament of Norway.
Deeyah’s experience of living between different cultures, both the beauty and the challenges, shapes her artistic vision. Her 2012 multi-award winning documentary Banaz: A Love Story chronicles the life and death of Banaz Mahmod, a young British Kurdish woman murdered by her family in a so-called honour killing. Deeyah’s second film, the Grierson and Bafta award-nominated Jihad, involved two years of interviews and filming with Islamic extremists, convicted terrorists and former jihadis.
The focus of Deeyah’s work and access to voices that are often overlooked and misunderstood has led to increasing demand as a speaker at international human rights events and platforms including the United Nations. She also founded Fuuse in 2010, an independent media and arts production company that tells the stories of those often silenced or ignored by the media. Fuuse exists to make heard the voices of women, people from minorities and third culture kids, to encourage debate and to celebrate diversity. One of Fuuse’s recent initiatives, born of Deeyah’s own experiences, is sister-hood, a digital magazine and a series of live events spotlighting the voices of women of Muslim heritage.
She was described by The Times of London thus: “To say Deeyah Khan is an inspiration is an understatement. She is one of the bravest, most indomitable women… facing down bullies and extremists with intelligence and unflinching spirit.”