I was born in 1989 in the province of Balkh in the North of Afghanistan. I grew up in Iran and then when I finished high school and pre University my family and I moved to Afghanistan, Mazar-e-Sharif.
I started media activities in Ariana TV (Balkh province) as a reporter from the beginning of 2012 and continued my activity there in several sections up to 2019. In addition to being a reporter there, I hosted news and social live programs. I worked there as a news editor for a while too.
Because of my focus on professionell success, I always had to take over more responsibilities and searched for experience in different parts of working life. For example, when I wrote a report, I also edited the videos, or when we received reports from other provinces of the 9 provinces in the North, the manager asked me to edit the texts and videos for that reports. I covered as a reporter political, cultural, social, economical and also sports issues.
Ariana TV (Ariana Balkh) and our team were like family to me. When I got married and became a mother, I went into the office with my little baby. At the time I was a copy editor, so I was in the office more and when I had free time I was able to spend time with my daughter.
In June 2018 I joined the CPAWJ (Centre for the Protection of Women Journalists). I worked there as a local reporter (Balkh) and then as an online editor (Kabul). I followed these activities up until the days of the fall of Kabul to the Taliban. In CPAWJ I covered the news on the status of women journalists. They went extremely against the views held by the Taliban.
At the beginning of my media activity, our relatives avoided us because of their opposition to my job. The only support for my work came from my family and after marriage from my husband. I have always been criticized by the community and my relatives for breaking taboos.
In addition, in the two months before the fall of Kabul, I traveled to distant places in Kabul as a civil activist and women’s rights activist, which made my face more prominent in the media.
During my 10 years working with media, I have also worked with Kilid Radio, Jawanan Radio, Shayan Media, Mitra TV and ACSFo. Reporter, journalism trainer, radio monitoring, news management, and peace program training were my positions there.I worked with the most creative and experienced people and famous organisations during these years, but the Taliban destroyed all our achievements and all the dreams and goals. I remember the day, the Taliban arrived near the city of Kabul. That day I went to the CPAWJ office. On the way, I received a call from a colleague telling me to go home as soon as possible. I didn’t ask why because I kept hearing about the Taliban. Even in the car I drove to the office, the driver and others only talked about the Taliban. I left the car and tried to find a taxi to get home quickly. I was scared and I saw that everyone was trying to flee.
After that day we were at home for a week and worried about our future. I worried what will happen.
If I had not left Afghanistan, the risk of death, defamation or some other unfortunate occurrence for me and my family would have been foreseeable as a result of my activities over the ten years. The Taliban tightened restrictions on women day by day and this horrific process continues. In this situation, I lost my job and was doomed to stay home forever, which goes against my values.
Even being an asylum seeker presents difficulties. But in France I feel safe and see a better future for me and my family. I know that I have to work hard if I want to pursue my studies, my goals and a journalistic job. First of all it is necessary to learn the French language. Then I should find an opportunity to work for media again, or something related, which is not easy. However, this is my path and I will continue to pursue it.
In my everyday life here in Lyon, I mostly spend my time with my family. Learning languages, reading books, using internet and cooking are my routine activities. Sometimes we visit nice places in Lyon and spend time in parks to have fun with the kids. My daughter started school and she’s learning French better than me. Education, work and presence in society are available here, so I can see a better future for myself and my family. Here we have freedom of expression, while now in Afghanistan women’s voices are being silenced. But now I can see that we are safe here in France and we will have a much better future.