Mundusians under the Covid-19 Lockdown: Part 6 - Zahra Salah Uddin

Welcome to the sixth interview in our series about Mundusians under the Covid-19 shutdown. Today, we say hello to alumna - Zahra Salah Uddin who shares her lockdown experience from Berlin.

2020.05.06 | Ellie Sellwood

Zahra is working for Hostwriter from her home office.

Germany went into lockdown in mid-March and measures are slowly being eased. The situation in Berlin is much the same as in Hamburg, which we visited on Monday when we caught up with Konstanze Natarowitz.

Zahra graduated from the Mundus Journalism programme in Hamburg in 2018. She is from Pakistan and is currently working as the Head of Community Engagement for Hostwriter - a network which helps journalists to collaborate easily across borders. Hostwriter is a non-profit organisation which has been enabling collaborative journalism since 2013.

Zahra’s job involves helping Hostwriter’s community of journalists, managing the social media channels, spreading the word about new work or collaboration opportunities within the Hostwriter network and helping members find new opportunities in their fields.

Mundus Journalism: What is the situation like in Berlin right now? How long have Covid-19 measures been in place? What’s the mood like?

The situation is pretty similar to that in the rest of Europe right now. The lockdown has been in place for about a month now and the city is quiet. But, people are still making the best of it and enjoying the parks on sunny days.

Mundus Journalism: How have the Covid-19 measures affected your work at Hostwriter? 

We haven’t been able to attend any of the journalism conferences which normally help us to spread the word about Hostwriter and the work we do. 

MJ: What kind of tools have you been using to facilitate working remotely?

We use Zoom for all of our meetings and communicate with each other using MatterMost. Our Head of Marketing has also led two webinars so far and we plan to keep this up.

MJ: Do you have any tips or tricks for fellow Mundusians working in the same field as you?

I recommend going for a short walk every day.

MJ: How do you think your job will be affected in the long term i.e. once measures have been relaxed?

It’s difficult to say. But, I’m trying to stay positive about it! 

MJ: How do you think the world will change in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic?

The world will change and become more fatigues as we all try to deal with this collective trauma we are experiencing together. In this situation, compassion is really important and I hope that we come out of this more aware and compassionate.

MJ: What are your wishes for the world after Covid-19?

I honestly feel that we should all learn from this and use it as an opportunity to think about the things that weren’t working in the world before the pandemic and which things we should leave in the past as we try to build a new world after the pandemic.

Thank you so much for sharing your insights with us, Zahra and all the best to everyone at Hostwriter - keep up the good work!

If you want to support cross-border journalism then Hostwriter is currently running a fundraising campaign. You can see Zahra in this video and you can donate here.

Want to join the Mundus Journalism MA programme next year? Applications will open again on 10th November 2020!

Graduate Profiles
Tags: Covid-19, Working from Home, WFH, Cross-Border Journalism, Hostwriter