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Fundraising page set up in memory of BBC journalist Hanna Yusuf who died at 27

A fundraising page has been set up in memory of BBC journalist Hanna Yusuf who died suddenly over the weekend.

The 27-year-old (pictured) was described in tributes as a “bright star” who helped “break boundaries” as a Muslim woman working in the media.

The cause of her death has not been made public, but her family described it as “sudden and unexpected” in a statement.

A fundraising page was set up yesterday by Amina Yonis, who described herself as a “dear friend and soul sister” to Yusuf.

More than £700 of its £2,500 target has been raised so far to give to a charity in Yusuf’s name, chosen by her mother, as part of the Islamic act of Sadaqah Jariyah (continuous charity).

Yusuf most recently worked as a reporter for the BBC News website and was previously a producer for the BBC News Channel and BBC News at One.

“Hanna touched the lives of every person she came across,” said Yonis.

“She was a passionate friend, a best friend, a colleague, a sister, a daugher and so much more.

“Hanna’s smile was contagious, engulfing those around her with joy. She was talented beyond her years, with a passion for art, culture, story telling and everything French.

“The world has lost an angel and the most fabulous star.”

John Mair, of charity The Media Society, told Press Gazette he remembered meeting Yusuf at an event with the BBC on Muslims and the Media in 2014.

“It was an exalted setting: the Council Chamber of the BBC filled with portraits of the – white male – director generals from Reith to Birt,” he said.

“At the end, a shy very pretty girl in a hijab came up and talked to me. She wanted to seek my advice on how to get into journalism and the BBC.”

He said Yusuf, who was studying languages at Queen Mary College at the time “but wanted to change direction”, asked about how to get into journalism.

“Most times you have those ‘wannabe’ conversations and nothing happens. Not with Hanna. She continued to come to Media Society events and to seek my advice.

“Next I knew she was on the City MA course and had got herself a Scott Trust scholarship to help her through. Hanna had started to make her own luck.

“Our most recent meet was at a Media Society event for ‘wannabes’ at the BBC last autumn. As ever, the shyness was still there.

“Hanna stood at the side but did a small impressive turn when called on to say how she got into the BBC.

“She had entered the citadel and was now an assistant producer on the network news. The ‘wannabes’ listened intently.”

Mair described Yusuf’s death as “very sad” and “a talent gone to waste”.

Picture: BBC

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