News

    A Princess-Broadcaster - 2002-03-31

    SHUKRIA RAAD, VOA's DARI SERVICE

    When Shukria Raad was a girl growing up in Kabul, Afghanistan in the fifties, the United States was to her a dim, distant country on the other side of the globe, unconnected with her reality. Today she sits at a microphone in a VOA studio in Washington and daily opens a Dari-language window on the United States - and the world - for listeners in Afghanistan.

    Shukria Raad opening the Dari airshow

    "I always tell my colleagues that when you sit in front of a mike, you have to feel that you are talking to your mother. Because there's a love and respect. And I always say that even when you smile, people can hear a smile. Always, when I sit in front of mike, I want to share everything, to share the information, and give them what they want."

    By profession, Shukria Raad is a radio broadcaster. By birthright, she is a princess. Her father was the last emir of Bukhara - now a city in Uzbekistan - who was deposed by the Soviet army in 1920 and fled to Kabul, where he lived out his days under virtual house arrest. Born in Kabul, Shukria Raad says that after her father's death she lived the life of an ordinary middle-class Afghan girl. But her achievements were not so ordinary. She started her professional radio career in Kabul after graduating as one of four women in the first journalism class of Kabul University in 1966. She participated in exchange programs with radio stations in Germany, India and Australia, producing women's and children's programs. She returned home to eventually become the head of educational programs for women, children and young people for Radio Afghanistan.

    "I can proudly tell you that I was very satisfied that in a country where most of the women were not educated, and most of them were illiterate, through radio I could reach them. I knew how to talk to them, and make them feel that they should trust me."

    Shukria Raad left Afghanistan with her family three months after Soviet troops invaded the country in December 1979. With her husband, also a journalist, and two children she fled to Pakistan, and then through Germany to the United States. Although the Voice of America was starting a Dari-language service and needed broadcasters, Mrs. Raad says that at first she resisted the idea of going back into radio.

    "For a long time I didn't want to work in radio, because I had a very bad experience. When the Soviet invasion took place, some of my friends were killed in the studios of Radio Afghanistan, because the first thing captured was radio and television. So when I came here I was not in a very, sort of … I was thinking to have another job."

    But in 1982 she did join the VOA, and has worked as a broadcaster, editor, program host and producer ever since. Her paramount interest continues to be reaching Afghanistan's women.

    "I am preparing a women's program every week. It is Women and Life. It is about women's rights, about what mostly American women do, and especially do for Afghan women. And the world - what's going on in the world, for women. In Saudi Arabia, in India, in Pakistan, in Iran."

    Just last week Mrs. Raad hosted a call-in program in Dari specifically for and about women. She received calls from women around the world who wanted to share their views on issues facing Afghan women in post-Taleban society. For the first time, a woman in Afghanistan participated in the discussion

    "We could just call through satellite phone, and I reached a lady there, and she was talking about what's going on in Afghanistan, and what challenges women are facing these days, and especially these months."

    Shukria Raad has been a broadcaster for 35 years, and now she has no doubt that she chose the right profession.

    "You know, I'm so happy. I really enjoy this job. Whenever I sit in front of mike, I cannot explain to you. You are a broadcaster. Suddenly you feel that through this mike, you are talking to a huge group of people, and they are listening to you... and when you give them the news of the world, when you talk about what is going on in other countries, it is something that they learn every day by listening to the Voice of America - and that gives me a lot of pleasure."

    Shukria Raad says her life in the United States is not all that different from her life in Afghanistan twenty years ago.

    "Since I was working in radio, and I was exactly wearing the same clothes, exactly doing the same thing, I don't feel a big change in my life, you know. I was a working woman in Afghanistan and I am still a working woman, you know. I raised my children and I do the job that I was doing there - and I'm proud of it."

    Dari show closing

    English Feature #7-35977 Broadcast February 25, 2002

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shababi
    X
    Henry Ridgwell
    April 28, 2016 4:20 PM
    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Town Receives Refugees but Lacks Resources

    A wave of refugees is pouring into the Kurdish town of Afrin in northern Syria as a result of fighting between rebel forces and Islamic State militants. VOA’s Amina Misto went to the town and reports local authorities are finding it difficult to cope with this influx of internally displaced people. Bronwyn Benito narrates her report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Build Human Tissue on Animal Matrix

    The question has always been, if a gecko can grow back its tail, why can't we regenerate our lost body parts? Well, maybe we can, someday. Scientists are moving towards the ability to rebuild fully functioning organs, and have made significant progress replacing muscles and other tissue.
    Video

    Video Containing Chernobyl Radiation Continues 30 Years After Explosion

    April 26 marks the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Hundreds were killed following the explosion and it's estimated that thousands more have died from cancers caused by the radiation. Henry Ridgwell traveled to Chernobyl and reports for VOA on the continuing efforts to decommission the site -- and on the fledgling plans for a new future in the vast exclusion zone.
    Video

    Video Frustration Builds Among Refugees Trapped at Macedonian Border

    On the Greek border with Macedonia, 12,000 refugees continue to wait. Since the route to the rest of Europe was closed last month, the makeshift camp at Idomeni has seen protests and tear gas. But while those here wait, their frustration grows — as do reports of people attempting to find new ways of continuing their journey. John Owens reports from Idomeni.
    Video

    Video Researchers: Bees Help Kenyan Farmers Fend Off Elephants

    Elephant crop-raiding continues to be a major source of human-wildlife conflict in Kenya, so one elephant researcher is helping to alleviate the problem near Tsavo East National Park with beehive fences, which use elephants’ natural aversion to bees to deter them from farms. VOA’s Jill Craig visited the area ahead of this month's Giants Club Summit, which will bring together dignitaries at Mount Kenya to find solutions to combat poaching, the No. 1 threat to elephants.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora