Kurdish journalist student receives White House Correspondents' Association Award

08:28 - 1 May 2012
KURDPA: Namo Abdulla Azeez, a Columbia University student, received a scholarship prize on Saturday from U.S. President Barack Obama during the White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) annual dinner in Washington, D.C.

Abdulla was the only student from the prestigious Columbia Journalism School in New York City selected for the award, which includes a $5,000 tuition grant.

The WHCA\'s website stated: \"Namo Abdullah Azeez is an Iraqi journalist and has reported for top Iraqi and international media outlets. As a freelance correspondent, he has written for The New York Times, Reuters, the London-based Institute for War and Peace Reporting, and IRIN, the U.N.’s humanitarian news agency.

Namo was most recently editor-in-chief of the English version of Rudaw, a leading newspaper in Iraqi Kurdistan.

\"Although covering Iraq is difficult for journalists, Abdulla has reported in some of the country\'s most volatile places, such as Baghdad, Kirkuk and Diyala.\" WHCA continued.

Speaking to Rudaw from Washington, Abdulla said, “I cannot describe how happy I am to receive this award. I can only say this is a huge support and makes me even more determined to continue journalism in a serious manner in the future.”

Since 1991, the White House Correspondents’ Association has awarded more than $583,000 in scholarships to graduating high school seniors and college-level students, WHCA added.

WHCA describes its mission as \"The first and most important mission of the White House Correspondents Association is to promote journalism education.\"

According to the WHCA\'s website, this year $132,200 in scholarships will be given to 16 worthy college students along with other funding programs from the money raised at this dinner.

Photo: WHCA