UNESCO Honorary and Goodwill Ambassadors, widely recognized for their talent and integrity, help mobilize public interest in, and support for the purposes and principles of UNESCO.
Norwegian film director Deeyah Khan is UNESCO’s Goodwill Ambassador for Artistic Freedom and Creativity. Nominated in 2016, in recognition of her commitment to promoting art as a universal language for development, dialogue and social cohesion, Khan promotes freedom of creation for artists, and the creative industries in developing countries.
Khan, a singer and performer, was harassed and threatened in her native Norway. Due to the increased pressure, Khan relocated to the United Kingdom at the age of 17. She has gone on to become a music producer and award-winning documentary filmmaker.
In 2010, Khan founded ‘Fuuse’, an independent media and arts production company that profiles women, minorities and immigrants in order to celebrate diversity. She also created “Sisterhood”, an award-winning online magazine which provides a platform for women of Muslim heritage to voice their opinions.
In 2016, she won a New York City Independent Film Festival award for her film “Jihad: A Story of the Others” which explores why some young Muslim men in the West are drawn to violent extremism. In the same year, she received the 2016 Peer Gynt Prize from the Parliament of Norway for her work on human rights.