Dec 14, 2008

Why I am the Freedom of Expression Award Winner?

I had to write and publish this piece sooner but I couldn't because of hectic schedule. Now, I have to tell you to everyone why I became an award winner for the freedom of expression by ISF (Information Safety and Freedom) in Siana, Italy.

On Friday morning, November 28 in Siena, in Tuscany region, the award for the freedom of expression given to two Afghan journalists. I also got Kambakhsh's award. It was painful for me to receive my award while the other winner Sayed Parwiz Kambakhsh is still in prison only for reading an article in the internet.

Many of you may ask me that why you became the award winner while there were many journalists who were fighting for the freedom of speech, even some of them lost their lives, some of them exiled and some of them beaten and harassed by local warlords and drug lords. I am awarded because my satire/cartoon magazine was shot down in 2004, I am awarded because I got several death threats and exiled for seven months. I am award for my hard work on developing and teaching Blogging and online journalism in my country.
I have been running many workshops for teaching blogging in different cities.

Beside this I made an electronic online newspaper “Afghan Press” in two languages, Dari (farsi) and English, we are trying to get funds and hire a few journalist to write for us. The main idea is to provide a “narration from inside” about culture, media, politics, political parties, economics, and higher educations for whom are wise and interested in Afghanistan’s affairs, and especially local compatriots.

Simultaneously i built up the Association of Afghan Blog Writers in two languages which now it changed to a powerful online community of Afghan young bloggers, they share ideas and discus situation inside the county. These were the works and beside this I had to work to feed myself and my family.As a freelancer I sold photos to AP, wrote for BBC,, NATO, UNAMA and local papers in Kabul. My efforts were a give a better image from my country out to the world. Blogging was my plan to teach to young people in the Universities, schools, institutes and journalists. Blogging is important for me because I believe this is the only way we can tell our story to the world. Presenting Afghanistan through blog world is a job for new generation, not for those were involved in war, for those who were involved in massacres, those who plant opium but the new generation that can tell to the world the reality of what happening in their country.

I dedicate this award to my fellow journalists in Afghanistan; I dedicate this award to those journalists who lost their lives fighting for freedom of speech, to Shaima Rezayee, Abdul Samad Rohani, Shekiba Sanga Amaaj, Zakia Zaki and Ajmal Naqshbandi.This award not only belongs to me but to my people, to Pashtun, Tajek, Hazara and Uzbek. This award belongs to my country, to my entire countryman especially for those journalists whom were jailed, harassed, and exiled. This award is belongs to Sayed Parwiz Kambakhsh who is in prison now, he was convicted to death but later reduced to 20 years in prison. Right now, he is in one cell with four criminals and murders, Sayed Parwiz Kambakhsh is teaching them literacy how to read and write.

Interview with Pino Scaccia from TG1
This award belongs to journalists and writers of my country who can’t bring out their voice in public, for those who are isolated. This award belongs to those families who lost a member, to the children who lost their fathers. This award belongs to those journalists who don’t have enough to eat but can’t stop writing the truth.

I dedicate this award to my fellow bloggers, journalists and writers in Iran who are in prison now and some of them are sentenced to death only because of telling the truth to others.

This is an alert to Karzai's government which appointed Abdul Karim Khoram an ex-member of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar party in the Ministry of Information and Culture who said to media "freedom of speech is a western product and it is meaningless in Afghan society." This award is a warning to irresponsibility of foreign countries that apparently support but don’t look after where the money goes.

This award by ISF is an alert to those organizations and institutes who are working for the freedom of speech but they are not aware that journalists are receiving threats from different channels, like religious parties, fanatic fundamentalist figures, political parties, warlords, drug lords and Karzai government authorities. This is an alert to them to accelerate their efforts for supporting freedom of expression in Afghanistan which is in danger now.

And finally this award by ISF is encouragement for me and for my fellow journalist in my country to fight for freedom of expression. This award means I have to continue my works in the future.

I salute to freedom of expression, I salute those to thinks and says freely and support freedom.

Related materials:
Afghan Journalists Awarded for their hard work towards free speech
Free Kambakhsh!
Eventi a cui ha partecipato Nasim Fekrat - Audio
Nasim in Val di Susa
Una mattina a Siena per la libertà in Afghanistan- Video+picture
Tactic: Afghan blogger wins free speech award


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