25 Apr 2017

Tailwind Scholarship Recipient Testimonial: Madiha Waris Qureshi

April 25, 2017Testimonials
Name Madiha Waris Qureshi
School American University
Degree Masters
Major Interactive Journalism
I am a graduate student of Interactive Journalism at the American University School of Communication in Washington, D.C. I was a recipient of a 2015 Tailwind Scholarship, which was a tremendous support in my continuing with my Master’s. I will be proudly graduating in two months inshAllah, and will always remain grateful for the confidence placed in me by the Tailwind Scholarships.
My program focuses on digital storytelling and the use of new media in journalism. While I entered it with considerable writing and editing experience, many of the digital media tools I learned here were new to me. From data visualization, videography and CSS to photojournalism, I have made tremendous gains in my skill set. I believe I’m a far more effective storyteller today, and plan to use these new tools to pursue public service journalism and produce stories that are often left untold in the mainstream media.
A key theme in my graduate school projects has been covering the lives of Muslim immigrant Americans. In one recent project, I interviewed Muslim community leaders across the East Coast to research how American mosques are reforming in response to changes within their communities as well as their surrounding political landscape. An earlier project focused on Pakistani single women immigrants, and how they adapt to life in a vastly different culture and society. I am currently preparing for my multimedia Capstone project which will be the culmination of my program. For that, I intend to highlight stories of the new generation of legal Muslim immigrants to the U.S., and put them in perspective of their predecessors’ immigrant journey as well as the recently proposed Muslim immigration ban.
While pursuing the program, I also consult in communications and media relations for the World Bank’s Education-Africa team, as well as pursuing freelance journalism projects. My work has been published in The Guardian, Dawn (Pakistan), UK-based Lafz Magazine, the Pathos Alt-Muslim blog among others. I am also a prose editor at Papercuts magazine, a literary magazine that gives a voice to South Asian writers.