Professor Chronicles Damage And Recovery Of Roxbury

Staff Writer

In the days after Superstorm Sandy, a college professor told the little-known story of a neighborhood in the Rockaways affected by the storm.

Wasim Ahmad, a journalism professor at Stony Brook University, chronicled the story of suffering and recovery of Roxbury, a small private community located adjacent to Breezy Point on the Rockaway peninsula, in a nearly seven-and-a-half minute video showing the scenes of what the area was like last year after Sandy compared to this year.
His discovery of Roxbury and the damage Sandy did to that neighborhood, happened by accident, according to Ahmad.

Like many other journalists, Ahmad traveled to the storm-ravaged area to capture what it was like in the coastal neighborhoods after Sandy.

After being denied entry to Breezy Point by the NYPD, Ahmad said he entered Roxbury and saw there was not much media in the area compared to the horde of journalists that descended on Breezy Point.

From there, he spent more than four hours interviewing people and shooting photos of the devastation in Roxbury.
Ahmad went back to the small neighborhood in September and October of this year to film how the area has recovered since the storm. In the video, residents speak about how they rebuilt their property and reflect on the year that was.

Ahmad said he was also there to scout areas for his students to travel to for one of the online journalism classes he teaches. In that class, students are asked to go to areas where news is happening and write stories on it for the course.
He added that, from watching the video, he hopes his students gain more sensitively when covering events like Superstorm Sandy and it is not just about shooting video and doing interviews.

“I want them to understand it’s not all about the money shot or the glory of journalism,” he said.

You can watch Ahmad’s video on Roxbury at

Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127,, or @luisgronda.