A Fellowship Program for Afghan Women Journalists in Exile

Reclaiming Futures

Since the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan in summer 2021, Afghan women journalists have been forced into exile, unable to move forward in their careers. Reclaiming Futures is a pilot project supporting women journalists and media employees in exile as they establish themselves in the U.S. and reclaim their professional identities.

Created in partnership with Sahar Speaks, the program supports a small cohort of Afghan women reporters and media employees. Throughout a six-month program, fellows will participate in an in-person retreat, mentorship and peer networking activities, monthly group calls, and will have the opportunity to apply for a competitive fund for reporting and professional development activities. They will also have the opportunity to meet and learn from media experts and senior journalists working in different fields.

Twelve Afghan women journalists have been selected for this program. Meet the fellows here!

Photo by Joël van Houdt for Sahar Speaks

Zahra Nader, Project Coordinator

Photo of Zahra NaderZahra Nader is an Afghan journalist who covers women’s stories in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. She started her career in 2011 in Kabul, writing and editing for Afghan local media outlets. In 2016, after participating in the first round of Sahar Speaks, she joined the New York Times bureau in Kabul, becoming the first Afghan female journalist (in Afghanistan) to work with mainstream Western media.

She is a contributing reporter for the Fuller Project, an award-winning global non-profit newsroom covering women’s stories, and a former editor at Rukhshana Media, a women-led newsroom covering women in Afghanistan.

She is currently based in Toronto, Canada, pursuing a Ph.D. degree in Gender, Feminist & Women’s Studies at York University. Her Ph.D. research focuses on the political history of Afghan women.

Amie Ferris-Rotman, Project Advisor

Photo of Amie Ferris-RotmanAmie Ferris-Rotman is a British-American journalist based in London. She is currently a contributor to TIME Magazine. Previously, she reported from across Russia and the former Soviet space for almost a decade, most recently as Moscow correspondent for The Washington Post. Between Russia tours, she was Reuters senior correspondent in Afghanistan. She has held posts with Foreign Policy and The Wall Street Journal, and has also reported for The New York Times, The Atlantic, Politico, The Guardian, Huffington Post and more. She was a 2014 John S. Knight Fellow at Stanford University and is the founder of Sahar Speaks, a program offering training and publishing opportunities for Afghan female journalists. This won her the British Press Award for Innovation in 2016. Amie holds a bachelor and Masters degree in Russian Studies from University College London.

Advisory Council

Project Developed in Partnership With

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