As a recent graduate from the master of journalism degree program at Carleton University in Ottawa with professional journalism experience in Canada, Turkey and Syria, I have always found myself driven by the need to deliver high-quality journalism.
When the pro-democracy uprising rocked Syria in 2011, I was a master’s student at the University of Aleppo, studying commercial law. At the time, government-run media outlets intensified their distortion in coverage of peaceful demonstrations. So, I found myself compelled to join the protests and call for change. My passion to participate in building a free, democratic state in Syria – where media is independent of government reach – drove me into journalism.
I worked as a reporter from Aleppo covering the uprising and the civil war that followed it between the Syrian regime and various opposition groups fighting the regime and each other in varying combinations.
But I had to flee the country for Turkey in 2014 when it became unsafe to stay anymore as more journalists and activists were targeted. Working with different Syrian, Arab and international news outlets, I continued to cover the Syrian conflict and the refugee crisis form Turkey.
Three years later, I left Turkey for Canada where I pursued a master’s degree in journalism at Carleton University in Ottawa that sharpened my skills.
In April 2019, I was hired as a multimedia journalist by the Chronicle Herald, a daily newspaper in Halifax, Nova Scotia. There, I spent the summer producing stories about underreported communities including immigrants and indigenous-people communities.
When I went back to Ottawa in August, I pursued a three-week internship at the Canadian Press parliamentary bureau where I wrote election-related stories that were picked up by the country’s largest most prominent media outlets including The National Post and Toronto Star.
In December 2019, I spent three weeks interning at the Globe and Mail’s national newsroom where I improved my writing skills and my understanding of the importance of high-quality journalism. Later in February 2020, I flew to Winnipeg to pursue another internship at Winnipeg Free Press.
I was chosen in February as a recipient of 2020 Joan Donaldson CBC News scholarship after a long and competitive application process. The scholarship includes a four-month training at three of the CBC’s bureaus, and it is considered one of the most prestigious journalism internships in Canada.