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Beena Sarwar is a multi-media journalist, editor and documentary filmmaker from Pakistan who focuses on human rights, gender, media, peace, extremism, violence and South Asia. She has been an editor with major print and television news outlets in Pakistan, and has trained and mentored numerous journalists in the field since the 1990s.

She was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University 2006, and a Fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School 2007. Before joining Emerson in 2017, she taught journalism at Princeton University, Brown University, and Harvard Summer School. The class she taught at Princeton University was listed as a student favorite.

She contributes news and commentary to media outlets around the world including New York Times, Guardian, Boston Globe, Al Jazeera, BBC, CNN, VOA, and NPR. She has published essays in several nonfiction anthologies and is Editor of Editor of Aman ki Asha (hope for peace), a platform launched jointly by the two largest media groups of Pakistan and India respectively. She leads the South Asia Peace Action Network or Sapan, a cross-border, inter-generational coalition launched in March 2021. In August 2022, Sapan informally launched Sapan News Network, a news and features syndicated service in the making.

Personal blog: Journeys to democracy. Twitter: @beenasarwar



B.A., Brown University
M.A., Goldsmiths, University of London

Areas of Expertise

  • Documentary Media
  • Editing
  • Film
  • Journalism