My journalism career began in Pleasanton, for the now defunct CTV30, covering the Tri-Valley cities of San Ramon, Dublin, Livermore and Pleasanton. A prestigious, peer-nominated New York Times Minority Trainee opportunity took me to the Midwest to work in the Quad Cities region, reporting from both Illinois and Iowa. I also had the incredible opportunity (although brief) to serve as a national correspondent for the Black News Channel, until it went bankrupt in 2022.
I completed my undergraduate degrees, with honors, from San Francisco State University. My first degree is in TV-Radio News. My second degree is in International Relations, with a Middle East regional concentration, and an emphasis on Islamic political movements and Islamic feminism. My master's degree is in Comparative Political Economy from the London School of Economics. I studied and speak seven languages: Urdu, English, Saraiki, Punjabi, French, Hindi and Arabic.
My parents immigrated to the U.S. from Multan, Pakistan. I was born in Michigan, where my father was completing his doctorate degree. When I was two months old, my dad got a job in San Francisco. My family has been here ever since. I grew up in Danville, so covering the East Bay for ABC7 News is truly one of those full-circle moments.
My work has earned me several awards including an Emmy in 2021 for a Black Lives Matter protest, as well as national awards from the Radio Television and Digital News Association and the National Press Foundation for my coverage of the American-Muslim community. I have also been involved in programs to train foreign journalists; most recently in conjunction with the United States State Department, and another with the Media Diversity Institute in London.
Random notes about me: My favorite color is black. I have never drank coffee. I tried to be vegetarian - it didn't work, although I haven't eaten red meat since high school. If I wasn't a journalist, I would be a fitness trainer. I have traveled to 99 countries, which leaves 98 left to visit!
This gig has been a front row to history, having interviewed President Obama, President Bush, U.S. cabinet members and governors, along with other national and state politicians. There have been numerous professional athletes (yes, even some Olympians!), actors, Silicon Valley big wigs, amazing soccer moms, spelling bee champs, and Nobel Prize winners. I have been attacked at an anti-Muslim rally in Sacramento, spit on by White nationalists, and have talked with former Black-Panthers... you get the idea.
This job is not always easy. The working is grinding. A reporter must get as many sides to a story as possible, be factual, be resourceful and be responsible. But most nights I come home and think, "Wow! This is what I get to do every day?" And I wouldn't trade it for any other job.
Oakland's new resolution aims to grow and retain police staffing, increase video surveillance
Oakland's newest resolution aims to fix staffing police staffing problems -- including consideration of lateral police academies -- and to install high-tech cameras on freeway on-ramps and in business corridors.
Activists demand NAACP look into Oakland chapter over accusation of 'lies, fear-mongering'
"Our leadership is reverting to lies, fear-mongering and the 'tough-on-crime' rhetoric that has targeted African Americans throughout our entire history in this county, evoking stereotypical narratives of Black criminality."
Antioch, Pittsburg cops in court on charges of conspiracy and accepting bribes, including tequila
"I've seen the look on some their faces, and they looked like they are ashamed, and they looked like they didn't want to be there, of course," says a community activist who have regularly attending the court hearings related to the Antioch police texting scandal.
Alameda Co. DA Pamela Price says she's being 'targeted' amid recall effort over progressive policies
Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price sat down with ABC7 News to discuss her first few months in office and address criticism that she is soft on crime.
Thousands celebrate as Oakland shows up for annual downtown Pride Parade and Festival
It is Pride weekend in Oakland, and the celebration hit its stride Sunday with the city's Pride parade through downtown.
Bay Area Moroccan families raising money for victims following massive 6.8 quake. How you can help
"You can see the kids, the elderly people losing their houses. They are just sitting outside, with no homes, no shelter." Bay Area Moroccan families are trying to raise money for food and medical supplies, and build shelter for victims of the 6.8 earthquake ahead of the coming winter. Here's how you can help.
Oakland Pride kicks off this weekend with final preps underway to celebrate diversity and family
Organizers say Oakland Pride is a celebration of the diversity of the LGBTQ+ communities of Oakland and the East Bay. The parade, which runs through downtown Oakland on Sunday, is the second largest of its kind in Northern California.
Oakland airport expansion draft EIR doesn't include plane emissions, environmentalists claim
The plan to expand the Oakland International Airport could be a big boost to the economy and create more jobs. But some are concerned that it will be more noise and more pollution.
Alameda Co. DA Pamela Price tackles crime in Oakland at community forum
Rising crime and how to deal with it was one of the big topics. D.A. Price spent time explaining how her office is responding and the reforms that she was elected to implement.
Judge says Antioch police officers don't have to testify in Racial Justice Act hearing
Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Court David Goldstein says the Antioch police officers subpoenaed to testify in the California Racial Justice Act hearing, linked to the racist texting scandal, do not have to take the stand.