On August 17, just two days after the capture of Kabul, Afghan journalist Beheshta Arghand became the first woman to interview a Taliban leader live on television. At just 23 years old, this young presenter made history with the news that, surely, he would never have wanted to star in. The international media echoed the exclusive, an attempt by the new government to present to the world “its more moderate side,” denounced Saad Mohseni, owner of Tolo News. However, as the days passed, the situation in Afghanistan worsened. In just over a week, the reporter herself told Reuters, her life turned into a nightmare. AND He only saw one way out: flee with his family to Doha (Qatar). “I left the country because, like many, I fear the Taliban,” he explained to CNN. On August 24 he was, unlike thousands of compatriots, safe.
Doing the interview that made her famous around the world was not easy at all, Beheshta Arghand acknowledged. Although he discovered his journalistic vocation in high school and had already worked in various news agencies and radio stations, I had barely been on Tolo News for a month and a half when he sat opposite Mawlawi Abdulhaq Hemad. But I did it for all Afghan women. I told myself that one of us had to start. If we stayed in our houses and if we did not go to our offices or our jobs, they would say that women did not want to work. So I said to myself, ‘Get to work,’ “she told CNN. Fortunately, she was wearing long that day, so she made sure that the scarf that covered her head was fitted in the style of the traditional hijab and that no other part of her body was visible. After taking a breath, he began to ask. “I said to the member of the Taliban: ‘We want our rights, we want to work. We want and must be part of society. It’s our right. ‘
But the lives of local journalists got more and more complicated. Radical Islamists, they say in statements to Reuters, asked those responsible for Tolo News to force women to wear the hijab showing only the face. In addition, they withdrew the presenters from the rest of the networks and asked the media to stop talking about their assault on power and its rules. “When you can’t even ask the easiest questions, how can you continue being a journalist?” Says the informant, who studied at the Kabul University.
So Beheshta Arghand decided to ask the activist for help Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Peace Prize, whom he had interviewed two days after his face to face with one of the radical leaders. Thanks to her, he managed to register, along with part of his family, in an evacuee flight to Qatar. Although she acknowledges that more and more colleagues are leaving the country, she hopes to one day be able to return: “If the Taliban do what they say, what they have promised, and the situation improves and I know that I can be safe and free from threats, I will return to my country to work for him. And for my people.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism