Mr. Ahmadshah Arian - A Multi-Faceted Journalist

IJ Anita Tejwani
Published on: 18th September 2014
Afghan journalist and social activist, Mr Ahmadshah Arian, has worked as presenter and producer for Killid Radio, Maiwand radio, MBN TV channel, senior editor for Basarky weekly, writer for National Front weekly, Journalist for Women World weekly, Senior editor for 8am Daily Pashto newspaper, Editor in chief of Azizi bank magazine, and has been member of Afghanistan Youth Parliament, member of Young Journalists Network, member of Young Leaders Forum (YLF), deputy director of Citizen & Family Rights Forum, and founder of Pioneer Youth Forum.

Arian was born in Kandahar, a southern province of Afghanistan, in the year 1989. He was in 10th class, when he first stepped into social activities. Soon he found his way as he was involving more into social activities. "At that time, due to parents not understanding the sight and misunderstandings between youth and parents due to generational gap, I, with a few other youth activists established a shelter for youth to come and share their problems they were having with their families, which was unofficial at that time." Says Arian. Under this activity, they would help the youth by consulting them on handling situations and counselling them with the ways to tackle their problems. Soon, they had established a library in Kandahar, initially with 3000 books on the shelves, with the help of some foundations and friends from Kabul. "Weekly discussions about youth and social affairs were regularly conducted." Recalls Arian. After a year, the team of these social activists along with the Department of Culture and Information organized the first art exhibition after abolishment of Taliban regime in Kandahar.
Mr. Ahmadshah Arian, A Multi Faceted Journalist
He says, "Watching the changes occur due to our activism, there were organizations that would provide us support but their works wouldn't affect the society as expected." His mind was restless about making this unofficial organization of his a bigger platform to solve many social problems and create awareness among people and not much later a radio station in Kabul named "Killid Radio" established their provincial radio station in Kandahar. "I was in class 12th when started talking on the radio along with a friend who was much experienced in social activities." Recalls Arian.

"Once Live-On-Air, in a social programme I got a call on sharing the ideas about the topic of the program, it continued till all the family members expresses their gratitude towards the programme efficiency individually; that was the moment I felt I wouldn't stop doing such things and realised how I was reaching to my goals." Mentions Arian.

"The first and most important strategy for an aspiring radio presenter is that they have to be the voice of people and a reflection of challenges in society, and focus on peoples' problems and make the program an audience centric program. The same applies for a TV presenter; the radio programs demand a very effective and positive voice, fluency in language and sufficient knowledge about the topic covered. Social program presenter general information must be like an extremely wide sea with one finger depth." Were his words for aspiring and successful radio presenters for social programs.

The presenter should demonstrate that the program is centred on its audience, relevant to them and is useful for the betterment of their lives and satisfaction of their information need. This works well in gaining more audience for the show.

He feels proud to have worked for Women World Weekly Newspaper as a journalist and writer. This weekly covers humanity issues and women rights. His writings for this weekly mainly covered issues of women in terms of social, economic and political grounds. Still working for the betterment of society, Arian views women with the same share as of men. "Although I am not working as a journalist for women issues, I fulfil my responsibilities that are efforts towards strengthening women." Mentions this young social activist.

Arian is a member of Young leaders forum (YLF) which is an initiative of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES). This foundation is spread in more than 100 countries. Under this program 20-30 people from among 400-500 applicants are trained for their betterment into the fields of social and political activities and for becoming politically active and assume responsible tasks in their society.
When he first started working as Senior-Editor for Daily 8am Pashto Newspaper, the challenge for him was to manage all the content and staff for the leading daily newspaper in Afghanistan and edit and control all content which was never his cup of tea as a young journalist. But he started working hard on the newspaper and never said it was a tough job for him or it was early for him to have such a big responsibility. "It requires having a good knowledge about daily affairs, politics and society, and on the other hand you should be punctual, fast, sharp and competitive while providing quality newspaper." Says Arian.

Also in social activities, most of their activities were new phenomena and ideas to the traditional society, and implementation of those were full of challenges; starting from counselling youth on their family problems to the civic protests.

Arian and his team also conducted many campaigns for civic issues those were not tolerated by traditional people and politicians. "Still we are working, and democratic values are bit more institutionalized and we are going well." Says Arian proudly.

He has been respected with the title of 'the best presenter of the year' from Maiwand Radio. On the success of his two campaigns, he was awarded by Citizen and Family Rights Forum. On changing the theme and direction of the Basarki weekly magazine in two months, he was awarded for making it most popular weekly for his efforts at Kandahar.
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