Mohammad Zahoor, who owned the Kyiv Post for nearly nine years before he sold the publication on March 21, has announced creation of the Mohammad Zahoor Fellowship to help his former newspaper.
The $18,000 annual fellowship will go towards a 12-month stipend for a top university graduate who will work at the Kyiv Post, Ukraine’s English-language newspaper since 1995. The winner will be chosen on a competitive basis by Kyiv Post editors, subject to Zahoor’s approval of the final candidate.
“I pitched the idea to Mr. Zahoor after the sale,” said Kyiv Post chief editor Brian Bonner. “Mr. Zahoor has done a lot for Ukraine, for independent journalism in Ukraine and for the Kyiv Post, in particular. He saved the Kyiv Post’s life when he bought it in 2009 and kept us going strong until the time came for him to sell. I also know he gives generously to charities and worthy causes, but doesn’t always publicize his philanthropy. This fellowship will be a way for the community we serve to publicly recognize his legacy.”
Bonner said that Kyiv Post editors will be looking for a candidate who exemplifies Zahoor’s traits of leadership, entrepreneurship and community service.
Bonner said that while journalism graduates will have an edge, the newspaper will pick the candidate who demonstrates the greatest potential to contribute to the Kyiv Post for one year.
“We will pick the very best applicant who will work with us for one year. That person will have the opportunity to work his or her way on to the regular staff in that year,” Bonner said “We will then choose another graduating student for the following year, as long as funding remains.”
Zahoor invested at least $5 million in the Kyiv Post before selling to Syrian native and Odesa businessman Adnan Kivan for more than $3.5 million.
“I am happy to keep supporting the Kyiv Post this way,” Zahoor said. “As long as the Kyiv Post provides independent and objective information about Ukraine, it will remain a trusted and valuable news source for those interested in Ukraine or living here. We all know that the media advertising and subscription market is not as strong in Ukraine as we would like it to be, so it takes additional support of government, businesses and other donors to keep independent journalism alive.”
Zahoor was born on Aug. 1, 1955 in Karachi, Pakistan. He is the founder and owner of the ISTIL Group. He came to Ukraine as a 19-year-old university student in 1974, where he studied metallurgy in Donetsk. He became a multi-millionaire as a steel trader in Donetsk, selling his steel mill there in 2008 before the global financial crisis hit.
He is married to singer-actress Kamaliya with whom he has twin four-year-old daughters, Arabella and Mirabella. He also has two adult children from his previous marriage, Arman and Tanya.