Today is a day of great personal and professional achievement for me. I successfully and smoothly completed my Hubert Humphrey Fellowship.
Only two years back, I remember, a Pakistani official of the US embassy had laughed at me, a young but ambitious journalist, when I tod him that I wanted to apply for the Humphrey Fellowship Program.
“This is a very prestigious fellowship for accomplished professionals,” he said, “you are too young to become a Humphrey Fellow. You’d better apply for a graduate scholarship.”
I am exuberant that I finally made it happen.
Our graduation ceremony was held today at the First Amendment Forum of Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
It was a very impressive event which was attended by senior professionals from assorted spheres of life.
We received our certificates from Judy Gibson, Director of the Humphrey Program at the Institute of International Education.
As each one of the ten Fellows among us was called on the stage to collect our certificates, a two-minute video about each of us was played and we were given a chance to speak.
In my speech, I spoke of the dream that I had conceived for the first time back in 2006 at the Asian College of Journalism (ACJ) which was to establish a journalism school in Balochistan.
I was stunned how Americans respect their journalists and honor them even during their life times. At least some people look at storytellers (journalists) as heroes perhaps because those people like Walter Cronkite displayed extraordinary commitment to whatever they did. I may start my journalism at a smaller scale as a center for providing tips for good writing and then eventually expand it.