FAREZEH DURRANI

FAREZEH DURRANI

BACKGROUND

Farezeh was born and raised in Karachi and moved to Lahore when she married. She had two children, Mohammad and Fatima, almost five years apart. They moved to Austin, Texas when the children were 9 and 5 respectively, where Farezeh completed a Certificate in Child Development and then returned and settled in Karachi. Subsequently, Farezeh remarried and is also mother to Saadia, Sarah and Ali.

CAREER

Farezeh has had a varied and diverse background in interior design and mainly child development. She has had over 30 years of hands-on teaching, supervisory, management, training, and consultancy experience in the Early Childhood Education/Special Education field in Pakistan, including founding Milestones Charitable Trust, a school for children with additional needs in Karachi.

CHEF FATIMA FOUNDATION

When Farezeh heard of the swelling in Fatima’s shoulder being a tumor, she rushed to New York to be with Fatima. Farezeh stayed by her side for the next 17 months of Fati’s life, playing mom, nurse, researcher, doctor, cook, cleaner, confidant, realtor. She didn’t leave a stone unturned when it came to Fatima’s treatment, recovery, remission, or recurrence. Farezeh rallied the support of those close to her and those close to Fatima. There was always someone around: to help make an empty apartment a comforting refuge, to cook delicious meals, to let the emotions in and cry with Farezeh – or with Fati – and to even have a watch party for TopChef when it was released in the US in December 2017. There were many celebrations during these 17 grueling months, though it was anything but easy. However, there was a constant view of the future and what Fati would create and establish when she came through the other side.

In Farezeh’s own words: “I always knew Fatima was a shining star. She was exceptionally gifted with a huge heart and an extraordinary talent to cook effortlessly even as a little five year-old girl. This Foundation is not just in her name, not in her memory. This is Fatima’s vision. What she wanted to do herself. Her reality. What she would do if she was here today. Because I see it as her Foundation, it is critical that everything we do for Chef Fatima Foundation (CFF) maintains Fatima’s integrity and her personality. It is an extension of Fati, it embodies her as a Chef. I’m always thinking “how would she want it, how would she do it”. I want to carry that agenda forward. I promised Fatima in her last days that everything that she wanted to do would live on – I want it to remain Fatima’s reality. I don’t see her as gone – she lives on through the Foundation.”

“As such, all the programs CFF will focus on are the critical things Fatima herself, would have done:
  • Gestures of acknowledgment – treats for children
  • Offering Chef training to those with a passion but a lack of means
  • Training workshops from International Chefs for local Chefs and restaurants
  • Working toward reducing, recycling, and redistributing food waste
  • A global audience for all that Pakistan is and has to offer
Farezeh and Fatima shared a very close bond and deep love for each other. Their lives were, and in many ways remain inextricable from each other. If Fatima is our north star, Farezeh is our telescope. Her active involvement and direction is a huge driving force for our Foundation.