Achievements of Past Fellows
2003 Fellow Fasih Ahmed, Pakistan was the first Daniel Pearl Fellow and worked at the Washington Bureau of The Wall Street Journal. For his unparalleled coverage of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s assassination in 2008, Fasih won the New York Press Club’s Best Spot News Award. In September 2010, Fasih launched Newsweek Pakistan, the first English-licensed international news magazine, as Publisher and Editor.
2005 Fellow Dr. Walid Al-Saqaf, Yemen: is a Senior Ted Fellow, software inventor, online news innovator. Walid created a program, Alkakir, that helped combat Internet censorship not only in Yemen, but across the Arab world.
2005 Fellow Ammara Durrani, Pakistan: is an independent polymath professional with 17 years of experience working on the inter-sections of Policy, Strategy, Management, Advocacy and Capacity-Building. Her areas of interest are Conflict & Counter-Violent Extremism; Peacebuilding & Social Cohesion; Democracy & Governance;Rule of Law & Justice; Foreign Policy & Security; Health & Education; Media Development & Freedom of Information; Public Diplomacy & Strategic Communications; Arts & Culture; and Gender, Youth & Adolescents.She has served at senior management positions in Pakistani and U.S. governments as well as corporate, international development and not-for-profit sectors. She served as Pakistan Country Director at Search for Common Ground (2012-2014) and earlier she worked as a newspaper journalist in Pakistan, and was Daniel Pearl/Alfred Friendly Helen Baldwin Press Fellow at Los Angeles Times.
2008 Fellow Utku Çakirözer, Turkey: is a member of the Turkish Parliament. Previously, he was the bureau chief of Cumhuriyet, a highly respected newspaper, and the oldest in Turkey.
2008 Fellow Umer Cheema, Pakistan: is an investigative reporter at The News International in Islamabad, covering corruption, national security, politics, and intelligence agencies. Umar was abducted and tortured in September 2010 after exposing official corruption through his investigative work. In defiance of his perpetrators and despite continued intimidation, he remained committed to a
“collective struggle no matter what would be the cost… silence is not a solution.” He received several prestigious awards, such as the 2013 KnightInternational Journalism Award. Thanks to Umar, in 2014 Pakistan became the fourth country in the world to make tax records public.
2010 Fellow Aoun Sahi, Pakistan: was part of the Los Angeles Times team which won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the San Bernardino attack. He was a reporter for the weekly magazine of The News International for more than 11 years both in Lahore and in Islamabad.