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Born in Afghanistan, Hakim’s family fled Afghanistan during the Soviet–Afghan War when she was six months old.[4] The family travelled on horseback overland to Tajikistan with the help of people smugglers. After two years in Tajikistan, the family settled in Australia as migrants in 1986, when she was three years old.[5][failed verification][6]

Hakim attended Macarthur Girls High School in Parramatta, Sydney, where she played the violin and became a sports captain and prefect. She also attended Parramatta West Public School.[4][failed verification]

Hakim went on to study for a Bachelor of Arts in Media from 2002 to 2004 at Macquarie University, where she was also a board member of the Macquarie University Union.

In 2005, Hakim obtained a Diploma in Journalism at Macleay College, Sydney, and graduated with a journalism degree via distance education from Monash University in 2007, in addition to a cadetship at the Special Broadcasting Service.[4][7]

Hakim speaks English, Persian, Dari and Pashto.[8]