Amy Yee is an American journalist based in New Delhi, India from 2006-13. She is currently on a fellowship at Columbia University in New York. Her articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, The International Herald Tribune, Forbes, The Lancet and other publications. She is a former correspondent for The Financial Times based in New Delhi and New York.
“Since 1998 I’ve written nearly 1,000 journalistic articles across a wide range of subjects. Some are short, long, boring, interesting, forgettable, memorable, depressing, inspiring,were drudgery to write or a joy. On this website you will find about 100 of the longer and (I hope) interesting, memorable and perhaps inspiring ones. Below are a handful of articles; under the articles tab above there are dozens more.
I started out in journalism writing about books, ideas, and arts and culture, with a focus on China (I lived in Nanjing for two years). I am personally interested in social inequality, social change and cultural identity. Sometimes I was lucky enough to find stories where those things intersected like this article for The Christian Science Monitor on a classical music program for inner-city kids.
Then from New York I wrote a lot about business and occasionally came across articles about social change, like this Vegas story for the Financial Times about training immigrants and giving them valuable job skills. I was pleasantly surprised that business was such an interesting lens through which to view the world. Plus writing for a daily global newspaper gave some hard core training to write on tight deadlines and work in a hectic environment.
My journalism focuses on business, though often with a focus on models that provide ‘fixes’ for poverty; as well as poverty and human and economic development in general; and things that can improve lives, including clean energy, public health and education. I still write about arts and culture and their provocative role in the world.
Last but not least, I write frequently on Tibet issues due to my long-standing interest in cultural identity and social change. I wrote about my first encounter with the Dalai Lama in 2008 for the Financial Times here.”
Microhydro Drives Change in Rural Nepal
International Herald Tribune, June 20, 2012
The World Bank estimates that Nepal’s swift-flowing torrents could supply as much as 83,000 megawatts of electricity through hydropower. making them one of the largest untapped hydro power resources in the world. Some hydropower plants can be made without costly and environmentally damaging dams, yet bring life-changing electricity to tens of thousands of rural poor… GO TO ARTICLE
1,100 Pounds of Matzo in Kathmandu: Welcome to the World’s Largest Seder
Atlantic.com, April 12, 2012
In what has become an annual tradition, 1,100 mostly Israeli travelers gathered in Kathmandy to celebrate Passover — with plenty of kosher wine. The tradition begins with the steady influx of young Israeli backpackers. They usually travel after their required stint in the army, from age 18 to 21, and before university. Israelis come to Nepal to hike, river raft, bungee jump, hang out in cafés, and generally let down their hair, often literally…GO TO ARTICLE
In India, a Small Pill, With Positive Side Effects
New York Times, Opinionator, April 4, 2012
Intestinal worms are pervasive in the developing world and can have devastating effects. But there is growing awareness about how easy and inexpensive it is to treat worms, as well as surprising longer-term socioeconomic benefits. Research shows deworming to be extremely cost-effective: you get a lot of bang for your buck… GO TO ARTICLE
Liter By Liter, Indians Get Cleaner Water
International Herald Tribune, March 22, 2012
Access to clean water is an urgent global health issue. Dirty water can cause typhoid, hepatitis and cholera, in addition to diarrhea, which kills about 1.5 million children worldwide each year — more than AIDS, measles and malaria combined — according to Unicef.
Community water plants like the one in Chuddani, built and run with the help of the Naandi Foundation, are one way to put a dent in the enormous problem. Since 2005, Naandi, based in the southern city of Hyderabad, has opened 428 similar plants in five states that serve about 1.5 million people across India… GO TO ARTICLE
King of India
Wall Street Journal Asia, February 27, 2009
Gandhi was a source of inspiration for Martin Luther King Jr. GO TO ARTICLE
The King family has a long, but little-known, history in India. Martin Luther King Jr. was deeply influenced by Gandhi’s freedom struggle and spent a month in India from February 1959 learning firsthand about his doctrine of nonviolent resistance against British rule. GO TO ARTICLE
Tibetan exiles: ‘We Shall Overcome’
The Nation, February 25, 2009
For the pro-Tibet movement, better nonviolence training and education have been critical to stepping up the campaign in the hills of Dharamsala and far beyond. GO TO ARTICLE
Although it is their winter holiday, about sixty Tibetan students are attending this two-week workshop on “active nonviolence,” led by the Active Non-Violence Education Center (ANEC) in Dharamsala, the northern Indian hill town that has been home to the Dalai Lama for nearly fifty years. Over the next few days ANEC will lead a workshop based on the teachings of Gene Sharp, who outlined 198 methods of nonviolent action in his 1973 book, The Politics of Nonviolent Action... GO TO ARTICLE
In New Delhi, Sampling India’s Regional Food
New York Times, April 11, 2010
Like those of the other 27 states, the cafeteria at Andhra Pradesh’s center in the capital serves its regional cuisine.
Each of India’s 28 states has its own government-run house for state affairs, known as a bhavan, in the bustling capital city of New Delhi. And most of the bhavans have a canteen that specializes in regional cuisine, whether it’s the coconut-infused dishes of the southwest state of Kerala, or the Chinese-style momos, or dumplings, of Sikkim in the northeast… GO TO ARTICLE
The Buddhist heritage of Pakistan:
The beauty of ancient globalisation
Economist, Prospero, October 20, 2011
TODAY Peshawar in north-west Pakistan is a hotbed of insurgency and a strategic military entry point into Afghanistan. But more than 1,500 years ago the Gandhara region, which surrounded present-day Peshawar, was an important point along the Silk Road between China and the Mediterranean. Propelled by Alexander the Great’s conquest of the Persian Empire, settlers from the West brought classical Greco-Roman influences, while traders from the East brought Buddhism. … GO TO ARTICLE
Showing and saving arts as old as centuries in India
Boston Globe, April 8, 2012
Travels to the heart of Udaipur in northern India, a city known for royal palaces, luxury hotels, and traditional arts. GO TO ARTICLE
The young puppeteer insists it’s easy. With outstretched hands, he pulls the strings on the foot-tall man at his feet. The puppet shakes its head coquettishly; wood and cloth suddenly seem human. “Try,’’ says the puppeteer, offering me the strings. I shake my head, imagining the knots I would make; I’m content to watch him work his magic… GO TO ARTICLE
The Dalai Lama’s Embrace
Financial Times, March 20, 2008
…The Dalai Lama asked what part of China my parents hailed from and exclaimed “Ni hao”, or “hello” in Mandarin. Only talks between Tibetan leaders and their Chinese counterparts would resolve the conflict engulfing his homeland, he offerred. Then Tibet’s spiritual leader clasped me to him and gave me a bear hug… READ MORE
Lunch with the FT: Wynn’s World
Financial Times, April 22, 2006
Lunch with Steve Wynn, the iconic founder of modern Las Vegas.
Just before I go in to see Steve Wynn, one of his staff asks if I like dogs. As soon as I enter the casino magnate’s office in Wynn Las Vegas, his new $2.7bn casino-resort, I understand the question: two German Shepherds lie by his feet under his desk. A third dog, a sleepy cocker spaniel, ambles across the plush carpet and carefully sniffs me.
Wynn, clad in black, is reading a letter at his desk. “Just a minute,” he intones. As I wait, I stroke the spaniel and look at the large Mark Rothko painting on the wall. A Basquiat hangs near by. Finally he looks up and greets me with a steady gaze. He doesn’t bother with niceties, throws a black blazer over his black turtleneck, slips on a pair of aviator sunglasses and heads off to choose one of the casino’s 22 restaurants for lunch… READ MORE