Zahra was born and raised in Lahore, Pakistan. She left for Massachusetts at 18 to attend Mount Holyoke College and earned an undergraduate degree in English and Comparative Literature, while also taking classes in Gender and Film Studies. Returning to Lahore she taught a course at the Film, Television, and Theatre Department at Beaconhouse National University while simultaneously pursuing an acting career.

In 2005 she attended Goldsmiths College, University of London, to complete a Master’s Degree in Cultural Studies. The degree allowed her to marry her diverse interests in politics, literature, film, and issues of identity.


Zahra has had an eclectic and varied career working in publishing, academia, and television, with her most recent venture as a restauranter in Lahore.


In Zahra’s own words: “Fatima was like a sister to me. I knew her from the day she was born and saw her grow into the talented, dynamic, and charismatic woman she became. Her ambition was to set up her own restaurant- a place where she could bring her excellent training and experience as a chef to bear on her vast culinary influences.

“But beyond that, Fatima wanted to make a name for herself. She was a fiercely ambitious person, acutely aware of the challenges she faced and always ready to confront them head-on. She wanted to help the disenfranchised and enable those less fortunate than herself. She felt strongly about supporting women working in the culinary arts and was always looking for opportunities to share her love of Pakistani cuisine on a global stage.

“I am committed to helping realize all of Fatima’s dreams. Though she is gone, her very unique gifts and abilities must live on through the important work of this Foundation.”

Zahra brings her decade long experience in the culinary industry, her first-hand knowledge and insights to the table for us. With her network and connection to the food world, Zahra will be instrumental for us in realizing our vision.