Iraqi journalist Huda Ahmed named Elizabeth Neuffer Fellow at MIT's Center for International Studies

May 6, 2006

CAMBRIDGE, MA---The MIT Center for International Studies (CIS) announced today that Huda Ahmed, an Iraqi journalist who has been covering the war in Iraq for the Knight Ridder newspapers, will become the Center's second Elizabeth Neuffer Fellow. The announcement was made at the Elizabeth Neuffer Forum held on May 10, 2006 at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston.

The Elizabeth Neuffer Fellowship offers a woman journalist the opportunity to focus exclusively on human rights journalism and social justice issues. It is named for Elizabeth Neuffer, a Boston Globe reporter who was killed while on assignment in Iraq in 2003 and is administered by the International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF) in Washington, D.C., an organization that aims to strengthen the role of women in the news media worldwide.

Beginning in the fall of 2006, Ms. Ahmed will pursue research at CIS and participate in Center events and programs-including the CIS Starr Forum and the MIT Program on Human Rights and Justice (PHRJ). During her fellowship year, she also will have opportunities to work at the Boston Globe and the New York Times.

About the award, CIS Executive Director John Tirman said, "It is a tremendous opportunity for our Center-and the larger community at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology-to welcome Huda Ahmed to Cambridge. She is already a distinguished reporter, and has shown great courage covering the war in Iraq. I am certain we will learn a lot from her about her country and the conflict there."

Ms. Ahmed will take a leave from her job as a correspondent for Knight Ridder in Baghdad, where she says she has "written about the issues of women and children at risk in a war zone, the human rights abuses of police and occupying forces, and the struggles of women in politics in a Muslim society."

Ms. Ahmed was among those reporters who covered the fight for Najaf in 2004; she and a fellow reporter were trapped overnight in a rebel-controlled shrine. According to one of her supervisors, "When ABC News anchorman Bob Woodruf was injured in Taji, Huda was the only journalist to find one of the Iraqi policemen traveling with Mr. Woodruff. When a court approved changes to Iraq 's election law, Huda found the closed ruling. And when women were being targeted for running for office, she convinced them to tell their story."

Ms. Ahmed, a graduate of Baghdad University 's College of Languages , received recognition for extraordinary bravery from Knight Ridder. She previously wrote for theWashington Post , the Daily Baghdad Observer and the Al Jumhurriya Daily in Baghdad . She told the Neuffer award committee that in addition to reading, computers and climbing, her interests include survival. "Survival is key," she wrote.

The Elizabeth Neuffer Fellowship is a project of the Elizabeth Neuffer IWMF Fund, which also supports the Elizabeth Neuffer Forum on Human Rights and Journalism.

For more information about the Elizabeth Neuffer fellowship, go to:

For information about MIT's Center for International Studies, its CIS Starr Forum event series, and its Program on Human Rights and Justice, see:

The Center for International Studies (CIS) supports interna­tional research and education at MIT. It is the home of MIT’s Security Studies Program; the MIT International Science & Technology Initiative, its pioneering global education program; the Program on Emerging Technologies; and seminars and research on migration, South Asia politics, the Middle East, cybersecurity, nuclear weapons, and East Asia. The Center has traditionally been aligned with the social sciences while also working with MIT’s premier science and engineering scholars. CIS produces research that creatively addresses global issues while helping to educate the next generation of global citizens.