Abdul Rahoof Kaliayarakath Kakatharayil 1

Abdul Rahoof Kaliayarakath Kakatharayil

Ponnani, India

Hong Kong Baptist University

MA in International Journalism Studies

Work & internships

Employer: Hinrich Foundation

Awards & citations

Hinrich Global Trade Leaders Scholarship (2017)

World Health Organisation (WHO) Fellowship

Previous university & major(s)

Aligarh Muslim University – Bachelor of Arts (History) (2010)

Scholar status

New scholar – Class of 2017

Read my story here

My first thought when I learned I was awarded this scholarship

On the morning of May 26, 2017, I woke up to the beeping of my phone. Since I had been desperately waiting for the results of the applicant interviews, I had been checking my phone every day to see if I had received any email from the Hinrich Foundation. Upon hearing the beep, I grabbed my phone and looked at it, et voila! There was indeed a congratulatory email from the foundation. Out of so much excitement, I was unable to read the email fully at once. I composed myself and read the email over and over to make sure I actually got through. I was enthralled. In the next few minutes, I called my mother to break the news.

Why I’m interested in trade

As a journalist covering local and national issues, I always try to develop a clear perspective on various topics. My personal experience and academic orientation have helped me to develop such perspectives. I realized, however, that my ideas were not so broad, and that I should get exposed to something new, such as business and trade, to understand the world better. I understand that, in the age of globalization, global trade influences all lives, countries and even geopolitical relationships. I am keen on understanding how the local and global markets work.

What this scholarship opportunity means to me

I believe that this scholarship would help me break out of my comfort zone and improve my professional skills. Thanks to the scholarship, this is the first time I have been given a chance to study in a foreign university. Besides the studies, the opportunity to attend the trade shows, experience the internship and face a great employment opportunity also excites me.

The international experiences I’m most looking forward to

I hope to meet students and professionals from across Asia, with whom I can interact, and from whom I can learn new skills and refresh my own. I am excited to have a first-hand experience of Hong Kong’s vibrant community, where I would be exposed to different cultures, opinions and values.

What I’ll bring to my dorm to remind me of home and why

I plan to bring some literature in my native language. I would love to read in my free time because books always keep me grounded.

My favorite hobbies and other interests

I am an amateur photographer who loves to go out and take pictures whenever I am free on a weekend. I also work out and train in martial arts to stay fit. Reading nonfiction is my favorite pastime, but performing simple magic tricks for my friends is another hobby of mine.

My proudest achievement so far in life

I bagged the South Asia Laadli Media Award for Best New Reporter for my reportage on biases faced by women cops in India.

The largest obstacle I’ve overcome so far in life

The largest obstacle I have had to overcome so far might be the language barrier that most people face in India, where several different languages are spoken in different regions. When I moved from my hometown to Hyderabad to start my career in journalism, I could not speak even a word of the local language. I learned it gradually then successfully completed five years as a journalist covering local issues.

My future goals and aspirations

Research is one of my long-term goals. I am also interested in writing in-depth stories on global trade and geopolitical relationships.

How I plan to give back and help others

I plan to give back and help others by doing volunteer work with the Hinrich Foundation, creating job opportunities in the future and reporting on major social issues.

Personal statement

Receiving the Hinrich Foundation scholarship to study in Hong Kong and work for the foundation has given me an opportunity to step into a whole new territory. I hope to spruce up my professional career by taking full advantage of the opportunity. I also hope to develop new sets of skills, which would help me in my future life. I thank the Hinrich Foundation for giving me this opportunity. I look forward to completing my master’s program and working for the foundation.

Story about Abdul Rahoof

Before I became a scholar, I was a senior news reporter with the Deccan Chronicle, the largest circulated broadsheet daily in Southern India, in the Telangana state. I have covered events big and small and written stories on human rights and criminal justice. I also covered various beats such as disaster, health, women and child welfare, road safety and insurgencies among others for nearly five years.

In my journalism career, I have been engaged with some international organizations. I was one of 12 journalists selected by the International Center For Journalists (ICFJ- USA) from around the world for its reporting fellowship on safety, which took place in Finland in September 2016. I was also one of 14 journalists from India selected by the World Health Organization (WHO) for its national fellowship in 2014.

Before I became a full-time journalist, I had worked as a freelance writer for various news organizations and websites. I used to produce stories on the topics of lifestyle, education, business and health for these publications.