Doha, Qatar, June 11, 2018: Students from Northwestern University in Qatar will investigate and report on human rights among the Ahmadiyya Muslim community in Pakistan as part of a grant they have received from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.
The students selected this year – Ayilah Chaudhary, Isabella Palma-Lopez, and Amna Al-Baker – as part of the 2018 cohort of student reporting fellows, will join research fellows who come from top universities all around the world in pursuing their research, as well as receiving guidance and direction from Pulitzer Center staff and journalists.
“Students involved in hands-on reporting and scholarly research develop a real sense of what their careers and future work environments will be,” said Everette E. Dennis, dean and CEO. “With the Pulitzer Center’s support, our students have the opportunity to travel in Pakistan and India to report on some of the world’s most disregarded, yet important, issues.”
NU-Q is one of 30 international universities who are part of the Pulitzer Center’s Campus Consortium, offering students a chance to apply for research grants and work alongside the Center’s staff and reporters to investigate global issues. In addition, Pulitzer Center representatives visit NU-Q annually to engage in discussions with students about the importance of analyzing worldwide areas of concern.
This year’s student fellows hope that their research will shed light on the violence and hostility endured by Ahmadis and that by documenting the issue they can raise awareness about the human rights infringements on the minority.
“We have a driven interest towards human-interest stories, particularly those of marginalized groups such as the Ahmadiyya community. We believe that reporting on the ongoing persecution that Ahmadis face represents a plea for elementary human fairness to allow Ahmadis to worship freely, preach without violence, and raise their children without anxiety,” said Chaudhary.
In previous years, NU-Q’s student research fellows have used their grants to explore topics in Pakistan and India.
Urooj Kamran Azmi and Shakeeb Asrar, last year’s recipients, traveled across Pakistan to research and report on the country’s reinstated death penalty and new anti-terrorism laws. Their final project, which included a documentary that followed the struggle of convicts on death row, received a Mark of Excellence Award from the Society of Professional Journalists.
Another NU-Q student, James Zachary Hollo, published an in-depth investigative report on the impact of climate change on one of India’s poorest communities in two international publications: PRI’s The World and The Wilson Quarterly. Hollo, a 2015 graduate of NU-Q, reported on the lives of individuals who lost their homes and were forced into debt after Cyclone Hudhud hit the southeast coast of that country in 2014.