An alumnus of DPS Srinagar, Taha Kaleem has been selected as the Berkley Center-Pulitzer Center International Reporting Fellow for summer 2021. He had secured admission to the Georgetown Washington University on a full scholarship in 2018.
The fellowship, made possible through a partnership between the Berkley Center and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, offers one Georgetown student annually the opportunity to pursue a journalistic project that investigates the religious dimension of an international issue. Projects aim to bring to light what is often overlooked, untold, or misunderstood. His project will explore Sufi shrines as sites of interfaith peacebuilding in Kashmir.
“The goal of this project is to highlight the importance of religious life in Kashmiri society and the profound impact it has on how the population deals with conflict and trauma on a daily basis,” Kaleem says.
“In the mainstream media, Kashmir is often stereotyped as a place of conflict,” Kaleem explains. “While there certainly is conflict in Kashmir, it has obscured other realities present on ground—like the role of Sufism in providing people a space to heal or resist.”
As part of the fellowship, Kaleem will work closely with Pulitzer Center staff and mentors to craft journalistic pieces reporting on Sufi religiosity and conflict resolution in Kashmir. He will receive assistance from the Pulitzer Center in trying to place articles in high-profile news outlets.
The fellowship also gives Kaleem the opportunity to participate in the Washington Weekend hosted by the Pulitzer Center, where fellows gather to share their experiences and receive practical advice on pursuing careers in journalism.
Vijay Dhar, chairman of Delhi Public School, Srinagar where Taha studied till Class 12th congratulated him on his success, “Taha has been a bright school and was first from J&K to bag the prestigious scholarship at Georgetown Washington University way back in 2018.” “His achievement reflects the stupendous efforts put in by the teachers at the school level to nourish his ability and catapult him to a position of eminence,” he added.