OROOJ HAKIMI With YALDA ALI For Mahabahu
Yalda Ali, 26, Bachelor of Laws faculty, born in Ghazni Province.
Yalda is the anchor of the famous morning show “Bamdad-E- khosh” on Tolo TV; she told to me for Mahabahu.
Here it is…
On the day of the fall of Kabul, I left the office with fear and despair, there was no car, and I ran home for two hours. All the people were running to their homes in panic.
Two weeks passed with fear, and the TV had no programs to broadcast.
Most of our colleagues left the country. After two weeks, I found out that the Bamdad Khosh program, “ which is a live morning show,” was being broadcast, and one of my male colleagues was presenting the show. I was distraught and cried that the Afghan women were removed and only men remained on the TV stages.
I thought all day that if today I also give up, then millions of Afghan women would be disappointed!
I thought all day, and at night I called the office and said that I had decided to return to the office and this time I would appear on TV as a host of Bamdad Khosh’s show, not only as a producer! The office agreed, and after two weeks of Kabul collapse,I went to the office and performed the live show.
As the first woman who appeared on Tv after the collapse, for Afghan women and thousands of people who thought women were removed from media, I became a hope that once again flowed like blood in their veins.
My motivation for working in media was to encourage women from traditional society and to be among the women who break the taboos, which can be on the screen like men, their faces can be seen and make their personality and identity, and be independent. I have been working in the media for five years; before the collapse of Kabul, my only challenge was the traditional men of Afghanistan who sometimes caused me problems and did verbal harassment.
But in the current regime, I am not only facing traditional men, but I am facing a traditional and patriarchal government too, where there is no freedom of speech, freedom of opinion, women’s independence is not recognized, and there are zero presence women in government level, even women are facing countless challenges in private organizations such as TVs, and have to cover their faces and present the shows and News.
When I learned about the new decree of the Taliban to cover women’s faces in the media, I was preparing for the morning show “Bamdad-E- khosh.” I felt like a person hit by a new bullet in the middle of a thousand shots, but I wore the mask, covered my face, and roared that my voice was enough and I would present the show.
With the video of me wearing a mask, which was viral, I tried my best to make the world understand that the identity of Afghan women is disappearing, but the world still cannot understand what is happening to us; why?
This decree takes women’s identities and forces them to withdraw from the media. We are apprehensive that with the closure of girls’ schools and the absence of women in government institutions, the Taliban will systematically prevent women from any social activity. They are trying to remove us from society altogether, which hurts!
In this situation, the presence of women in media is very much significant because it gives motivation to other women who see their dreams on the verge of destruction, and it gives women the ability to know that they are strong and can still be present stubbornly pursue their goals.
But if the Taliban, after some time, remove women’s voices from the media too, for me as a presenter, the future of media for Afghan women seems ambiguous and dead-end, a lot that cannot be hoped for!
It has been almost a year that we have been living without freedom of expression, without the right to choose clothing, without freedom of opinion and thought, and with each passing day, our identity is diminished!
We need the support of the world. We need the help of all who consider themselves defenders of women’s rights. The world should know and write in history that Afghan women are fighting for their presence and not being removed from society. We will resist, our voice is strong enough, but if one day, our voice is silenced, the world should be the voice of all Afghan women.
It’s not easy to raise our voice in this situation because it is like we are playing with our life.
Still, I know how important and necessary is it for the survival of Afghan women to open the eyes of the world to Afghan women and Afghan female journalists!
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