||15th May 1966
London, United Kingdom
||University College, Oxford and Harvard, USA
- George Orwell, Rudyard Kipling, David Livingstone, Ernest Hemingway
Christina Lamb (born 15 May 1966) is a British journalist who is currently Foreign Correspondent for The Sunday Times. She was educated at University College, Oxford (BA in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics) and was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. She is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. She has won Foreign Correspondent of the year four times.
Lamb says she always wanted be a writer and be able to write about other people. The sense of adventure was the real draw to the career. In her book Small Wars Permitting: Dispatches from Foreign Lands she says she used to be mischievous at school and wasn't particularly studious in lessons. She gained entry into Oxford but soon changed from a chemistry degree to enroll in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. Her journalistic career began at the Financial Times as a summer intern, it was here she described the foreign correspondents as 'Man-like-Gods' in reference to their gender and the exoticness of their lives and suitases, it was something she wanted to be a part of.
Her first major interview was with Benazir Bhutto in London in 1987 where subsequently she was then invited to her wedding in Pakistan later that year. From here, she began her life as a foreign correspondent in Pakistan, journeying through Kashmir and along the frontiers of neighbouring Afghanistan, a place where the Mujahideen were fighting the Soviets occupiers. In her time she interviewed and became good friends with many in the local community including future Afghan President Hamid Karzai. She was deported back to London, by a less than friendly Inter-Services Intelligence, who did not like the content of her journalism and views from within the country . Lamb was soon posted to Brazil and fell in love with the country and its whole culture and romanticism. She interviewed the then President Fernando Affonso Collor de Mello who was embroiled in corruption and influence peddling scheme. She moved briefly to Harvard University to become a Nieman Fellow where she met her future husband, Paulo Anunciacao.
She then moved to post-apartheid South Africa but did not have the same love for it as she did in Brazil. Throughout the next ten years she floated between London, Portugal, Zimbabwe, Brazil, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
She married Paulo in Zanzibar in early 1999 and gave birth to Lourenço that summer, the next day she interviewed the former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, who was being held under house arrest at Wentworth. Lamb describes her most harrowing reporting on the plight of Zimbabwe. Since 1994, she has the devastation and destruction by Robert Mugabe and how it seems to be getting worse every time she returns.
In 2006, Lamb was with reporting with the British Parachute Regiment on a 'hearts and minds' mission in Southern Afghanistan. After a meeting with town elders, they were directed to a safe route out of the dwelling. Soon after they had left the British were attacked by Taliban fighters. Lamb describes how for two and half hours, with no air support, they ran through irrigation trenches under RPG, Kalashnikov and mortar fire from all directions. Soldiers were discussing among each other about saving bullets for themselves if it became inevitable, Lamb was asked if she had ever used a pistol. Fortunately, they were able to escape after such a close encounter.
In October 2007, Christina was one of two Western journalists to be aboard Benazir Bhutto's campaign bus in Karachi. Dozens of Bhutto's supporters were killed by two suicide bombers, an early attempt to her own eventual death two months later.
- Waiting for Allah: Pakistan's struggle for democracy (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1991; London: Penguin, 1992)
- The Africa house: the true story of an English gentleman and his African dream (London: Viking, 1999; London: Penguin, 2000)
- The sewing circles of Herat: my Afghan years (London: HarperCollins, 2002; London: Flamingo, 2003)
- House of stone: the true story of a family divided in war-torn Zimbabwe (London: HarperPress, 2006)
- Small Wars Permitting: Dispatches from Foreign Lands (London: HarperPress, 2008)
By Christina Lamb
About Christina Lamb