Prague — This week, RFE/RL’s Radio Azadi marks 10 years of bringing news and information to the people of Afghanistan.
During a special day of programming, the station — which reaches over 60% of Afghans weekly — asked listeners to call or write to share what Radio Azadi programming means to them.
The reaction was overwhelming as Radio Azadi received thousands of SMS and telephone messages, including from listeners in the country’s most remote villages and from all walks of life.
[WATCH: Video special, "Radio Azadi: Ten Years Of Impact In Afghanistan".]
“We tried to play as many of the messages as we could,” says Radio Azadi Director Hashem Mohmand. “Listeners who didn’t have their tributes aired should know that we still heard their voices.”
“It was humbling to see such an outpouring of affection both for the radio as a whole and for individual presenters,” Mohmand adds. “It was very emotional day for many of us. We are truly honored to do what we do.”
Praise for Radio Azadi was not limited to Afghans. House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) and Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) each penned letters of congratulations to Radio Azadi, which were also shared with listeners. [see the letters]
Radio Azadi is the second incarnation of RFE/RL broadcasting to Afghanistan in the Dari and Pashto languages. “Radio Free Afghanistan” served audiences throughout the country from 1985 to 1993, during the Soviet war in Afghanistan.
For more on Radio Azadi, and to listen in Dari or Pashto, click here.
RFE/RL is a private, independent international news organization whose programs — radio, Internet, and television — reach influential audiences in 21 countries, including Russia, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the republics of Central Asia. It is funded by the U.S. Congress through the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG).