Established in partnership with the International Journalism Exchange, the Daniel Pearl Editorial Fellowship was designed to provide participants with (I) a practical understanding of the function and significance of the editorial process in the free press in the United States; (II) writing and editorial skills and (III) continuing ties to journalists, editors, and news pubications in the U.S.
Mahim Maher (Karachi, Pakistan) worked at the Oakland Tribune. She was the City Editor of the Daily Times, which is an English-language daily based in Karachi, where she worked since 2000 coordinating 10 reporters, covering 17 million people, 178 union councils and 18 towns.
“One of the biggest differences I found between reporters was that the American ones weren’t told what to do. They went out and got their stories themselves. I really admired this professionalism. They did what interested them and they were driven to do a good job of it.”
Ramy Mansour (Damascus, Syria) worked at the Los Angeles Times. An editor at Al Watan (Syria’s first independent political newspaper), since January 2006, Ramy Mansour is responsible for the paper’s weekly opinion column, as well as supervision of a monthly supplement MAAN (TOGETHER) that includes articles written by local university journalism students. Prior to his position at Al Watan, he worked as a journalist at two Syrian print media outlets, Al-Iqtissadia and Althara, as well as for Sama Alsham Television. Ramy received his undergraduate degree in Journalism from the University of Damascus in 2003.
“When we began this newspaper last year, many journalists came over from the government newspapers, and so we don’t have many people with experience in the private sector. I hope to be able to improve our paper with the knowledge that I gain from this exchange program.”
Joseph Raj (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) worked at the Houston Chronicle. Joseph Raj has spent 15 years of his journalism career with The Star, the largest English-language daily in Malaysia, and has worked as the newspaper’s Assistant News Editor for the past three years. Based in Kuala Lumpur, he works with the paper’s reporters throughout Malaysia, and is on the rotation roster for covering the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia during their official visits overseas; traveling to Australia, Syria and Yemen among other spots for that mission. His job responsibilities also include “feeding news” to Star’s web portal, the leading online news portal in Malaysia with approximately 40 million page views every month. Having started on the sport desk of The Star, Mr. Raj covered sport extensively, and currently he has a column about the U.S. PGA Tour in StarGolf, a monthly supplement in the newspaper. His overseas assignments have also taken him to Mayanmar and Iran. Mr. Raj holds a LLB (Hons) from the University of London.
“Malaysia, being a multi-racial society, comprising mainly Malays, Chinese and Indians, requires a responsible media, whose goals must also include keeping the peace between these three races to ensure the continued development and prosperity of the nation. I would like to see how this issue is handled in the US.”
Jamana Al Tamimi (Dubai, UAE) worked at the Baltimore Sun. Jumana Al Tamimi is an editor for the Gulf News Newspaper, the largest English-language newspaper in the Gulf region with a circulation of about 100,000 and a staff of 150. As editor for the Gulf Coast and Middle East sections, she supervises 10 reporters around the region; planning news coverage, editing, writing and coordinating with freelancers and wire services. She has 17 years’ journalism experience and a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from the University of Jordan.
“Getting such an opportunity at a time when the US is so important to the policies in the Middle East, will not only help me better understand American policy, but will also provide me with insight and understanding, and enable me to better judge political developments in which Washington plays a role.”
Shams Ahsan Saifi (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia) worked at the Los Angeles Times. Shams Ahsan Saifi, a native of India, has worked as a journalist for 18 years. Employed by the Okaz Organization for Press and Publication in Jeddah as National Editor for the Saudi Gazette, he is responsible for story assignments for 12 reporters and free-lancers as well as conducting writing workshops for the staff of this English-language newspaper with a circulation of 30,000. The Saudi Gazette has regularly broken taboos in Saudi culture, discussing sensitive issues such as women’s rights, human rights, and the rights of foreign workers. As the national editor, Saifi says, “I am on the hot seat, taking up the responsibility of stretching the freedom of expression to its limit to tell the truth.” Saifi has a both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in English literature
“Being part of an American newspaper will be an enriching experience, which I can use for the development of the newspaper where I am working…I am eager to know how newspapers in the US work: what hierarchical order they follow, how they cover and follow up stories, how news reports are structured … how they handle the deadline pressure.”