Sabeen Mahmud featured in 100 Leading Global Thinkers

Global affairs magazine Foreign Policy (FP) has named slain social activist Sabeen Mahmud in its annual list of 100 Leading Global Thinkers. Sabeen’s legacy as the founder and driving force of The Second Floor (T2F) has been honoured alongside the work of 13 other ‘Advocates’.

Sabeen Mahmud was the only child of her parents and was born in Karachi. She got her early education from Karachi Grammer School. She got her bachelors degree from a well-known institute, Kinnaird College,Lahore. Returning back to Karachi she joined “Solutions Unlimited” a technology company, as a multimedia developer and graphic designer.

FP has chosen Sabeen ‘’for creating a safe space in an illiberal society’’.

Sabeen Mahmud



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Mahmud, who was shot dead by gunmen in an upscale neighbourhood of Karachi on April 24, was honoured by the magazine in its annual list for “creating a safe space in an illiberal society.”

Listed under ‘Advocates’, Mahmud’s name appeared alongside 13 others who were also honoured for their contribution. The article read, “Mahmud was uncompromising in her commitment to free speech – even as she received death threats.”

T2F(The second floor) was established in 2007 as the first project of PeaceNiche and was the brainchild of Mahmud. It is a community space for open dialogue which provides a platform for people aiming for social change and it features a coffeehouse, bookshop, and exhibition gallery.

The 100 Leading Global Thinkers is an annual list of individuals who have contributed to the betterment of the world. The list honours individuals who have played a massive role towards the betterment of the society.

She believed that a dialogue always helps in reaching a solution. She was shot on April 24 after a divisive talk at T2F(The second floor).

100 Leading Global Thinkers is an annual list of individuals who have contributed to the betterment of the world. Doctors and lawyers, musicians and artists, activists and entrepreneurs are recognised for their work as ‘Decision-makers’, ‘Challengers’, ‘Advocates’, ‘Innovators’, ‘Artists’, ‘Moguls’, ‘Healers’, ‘Stewards’ and ‘Chroniclers’. The list also doesn’t differentiate on the basis of gender or race and the people chosen belong to almost all continents. Also, for the first time ever, the list includes more women than men.

Late Sabeen Mahmud, a Pakistani woman and indeed a pride of Pakistan, name has been added to the list of 100 Leading Global Thinkers of Foreign Policy magazine “For Creating A Safe Space in an Illiberal Society”.

She has been put into the category of “ADVOCATES” who, according to the magazine are those global thinkers who stood for justice, who fought for justice, using social media to build new political movements and giving people the freedom of speech on taboo topics, providing them safe spaces. 14 people were added to this category, among whom, one is a Pakistan woman.

After Sabeen’s demise, her mother Mehnaz carried forward her vision and initiated the Sabeen Mahmud Foundation which sustains Sabeen’s many projects, including Peace Niche, Faraar Gallery and Art Bazaar.

While her organisation PeaceNiche was nominated for one of the leading humanitarian award, Human Rights Tulip, Sabeen was awarded South Asian Meeto Memorial Award.Sabeen Mahmud

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