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Under Auspices of Alfred Friendly Press Fellowships

Washington, DC, May 9, 2003 - Fasih Ahmed, an editor for the Lahore-based Friday Times and Daily Times, has been awarded the inaugural Daniel Pearl Fellowship. Ahmed will be a member of the Wall Street Journal's Washington, DC bureau from June through November.

This special fellowship, underwritten by the Daniel Pearl Foundation and administered by the program created by Alfred Friendly - a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and former managing editor of The Washington Post - honors the life and work of journalist Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal South Asia bureau chief who was kidnapped and murdered in Pakistan last year.

"For those of us who worked with Danny and want to honor his memory, it's hard to imagine anything more appropriate than hosting a journalist from abroad in his name," said Wall Street Journal Washington Bureau Chief Jerry Seib. "Danny taught us all how to appreciate the way journalism can knock down barriers and bring understanding, and spreading those ideals in his name is a mission we all can embrace. Fasih Ahmed seems to share that vision, and is a highly capable journalist who can carry it forward."

Fasih Ahmed, 25, is the assistant news editor at The Friday Times and copy editor at the Daily Times. He has been with The Friday Times since 1995 and with the Daily Times since its inception last year. Ahmed said. "I am honored to have been selected as the first Daniel Pearl Fellow and I hope that through my work I shall do his memory proud."

On June 10, Fasih Ahmed and nine other journalists will arrive in Washington DC to begin their training as the 20th class of Alfred Friendly Fellows. Like their 214 predecessors, including six from Pakistan, these journalists will learn firsthand the practical realities of journalism in this country and the role it plays in our society. The Fellows are exposed to new and different journalistic ideas and apply what they learn to the operations of their own news organizations once they return home. The experience and training have had a profound impact on our Fellows' professional and personal lives, the publications for which they work, and their readers.

Najam Sethi, editor of The Friday Times and Daily Times said, "Fasih's youth, exuberance, talent and new-found direction and knowledge after a stint at the Wall Street Journal will be invaluable in helping us shoulder the burden of building bridges between the West and the Islamic world."

The Daniel Pearl Foundation was formed in his memory by his family and friends last year. Ruth Pearl, Danny's mother and the foundation's secretary and financial officer said, "This fellowship represents a continuation of Danny's lifelong work of bridging cultures through journalism. We welcome Fasih as our first Fellow and we hope to expand the program in the coming year."

The Alfred Friendly Fellowships, strengthened by the Daniel Pearl Fellowship, will advance that urgent and demanding mission. AFPF’s website is http://www.pressfellowships.org/. More information on Daniel Pearl is available at http://www.danielpearl.org/ and www.saja.org.

(To schedule an interview with Fasih Ahmed, any of the incoming Fellows or with Fellows in 72 countries from previous years, please contact Susan Albrecht, director of the AFPF program, at 202-737-4414.)

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