Afghan Girl Re-Introduces Kabul TV

With Kabul freed from Taliban rule, the local television station began broadcasting again, and 16-year old Mariam Shakebar was the first to welcome viewers back to Kabul TV. Before the Taliban takeover in 1996, Shakebar hosted children’s programs for the station, but could no longer work under the Taliban’s system of gender apartheid. Shakebar, wearing only a headscarf, introduced three hours of programming that included music, once forbidden by the Taliban, as well as news and readings from the Koran. Only six days earlier, Shakebar would have faced brutal punishment for not wearing a burqa in the street, now she is broadcasting on television, her face exposed. Shakebar’s co-host, newly shaved Shamsuddin Hamid, opened the program by announcing, “We’re glad to have destroyed terrorism and the Taliban and to be able to present his program to you.” Hamid also promised that the programming on Kabul TV would not be subject to censorship. Under the Taliban, television was banned and radio broadcasted solely Taliban propaganda.


Reuters, 11/18/01

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