Resilience and Determination: An Interview with Afghan Journalist and Activist Nilofar Muradi

Resilience and Determination An Interview with Afghan Journalist and Activist Nilofar Muradi

We, at Canadian Connections-Welcoming Refugees Home, are so delighted that on this World Refugee Day we have interviewed Nilofar Muradi and brought her story to share with our audience, clients, donors, and supporters to raise awareness of resilience and determination.

Interview:

First of all, thank you very much, Nilofar Jan, for giving us the time to have an interview with you.

To start, we want to hear about you and your activities, and what made you support Afghan society?

My name is Nilofar Muradi. My background is in journalism, and I have worked as a media activist and in human rights and women’s protection activities. However, my main occupation is journalism, and I am very happy to have played a small role in promoting freedom of expression and information in Afghanistan. I am 27 years old and was born in Kabul. I studied law and political science, but due to my interest in journalism, I chose this field and wanted to work more in it.

Regarding why I wanted to support women and work in human rights, women’s and gender rights, and freedom of expression, it is because, as women born in Afghanistan, we face many challenges due to traditional societal norms. I am perhaps a small member of Afghan society who wanted to work for women’s rights. We had to start the struggle from inside the home first, and I am happy to have been a small part of those working in this area.

Thank you, Nilofar Jan. Can you tell us what challenges you experienced and how you overcame them?

Fortunately, I was born into a supportive family. My mother had 30 years of experience working in gender and human rights in the education sector, which made my family supportive of me. I started my activities in Afghan society in 2013. At that time, society had changed a lot. Women worked in different fields and had the right to education, though there were still problems. With my family’s support, I was able to overcome these challenges.

Can you share an achievement with us?

I don’t know if it can be called an achievement, but it is very interesting to me. From a young age, I was interested in journalism. We lived in a remote village in Daikundi, and my father bought a radio. We often listened to news and entertainment programs, which sparked my interest in becoming a journalist. My parents wanted me to study law and become a lawyer or judge, but I loved journalism. Despite their wishes, I never gave up and became a journalist, even without formal academic training in the field.

What does World Refugee Day mean to you, and what message do you want to share on this day?

It is very difficult for me to talk about this matter. The word “refugee” reminds me of the plans I had after the fall of Afghanistan and of the thousands of people like us who are forced to leave their land and seek refuge elsewhere. I am happy not to live under Taliban rule in Afghanistan, but I did not want to emigrate because we loved our country and wanted to live there. As refugees, we face an identity crisis in a new country with a new language and culture. We lose everything from language to childhood memories, education, and work experiences. Starting over is challenging, but having asylum means we can live safely. My message to fellow refugees is that we should support each other and help newcomers to this new land, as this will help us all adapt and thrive.

How do you see the future of Afghan society, and what role do you imagine for yourself in it?

I do not want to return to Afghanistan under Taliban rule under any circumstances. Afghanistan is my homeland, and I think about it every day. Losing the memories of Kabul and Daikundi, where I spent my childhood, has been very hard. Afghan women, including myself, have made great sacrifices for our achievements.

Currently, in 2024, women in Afghanistan have lost all their individual rights and freedoms. Schools are closed to girls above the age of six, and women are banned from public places, gyms, work, parks, and even traveling without a male guardian. The Taliban’s restrictions make it impossible for women to live freely, often leading to severe hardships. The situation in Afghanistan is like a prison for all its people, as they lack basic rights and freedoms.

Afghans have lost trust in human rights institutions and the countries involved in the war in Afghanistan. These countries claimed to support democracy but have failed to hold the Taliban accountable. Afghanistan under Taliban rule is a prison where people are deprived of their rights, individual freedoms, and necessities.

A video interview in Persian (Farsi) will be coming shortly, so stay tuned!

مصاحبه ویدیویی به زبان دری به زودی نشر خواهد شد . با ما باشید

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