wed 15/07/2020

theartsdesk in Kabul: Talking Books in Dari and Pashto | reviews, news & interviews

theartsdesk in Kabul: Talking Books in Dari and Pashto

theartsdesk in Kabul: Talking Books in Dari and Pashto

A literary culture with low rates of literacy is introduced to the audiobook

Nearly 90 per cent of Afghan males listen to the radio. Soon this young man will be able to listen to 'Talking Books'

One Friday afternoon this spring, a friend led me to a low, dusty room in an education institute in the Afghan capital, Kabul. A few dozen men sat in neat rows. Most were young and wearing leather jackets, a few were older and in tweed jackets or suits. One wore a turban and chapan, a warm winter padded coat. All were keen writers who together are thriving members of a literary circle, a solace of imagination, creativity and wonder far from the fighting and the headlines of Afghanistan's bitter war.

After decades of conflict and poverty, Afghanistan has glaringly low levels of literacy. And yet, this country also has a long literary tradition

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Absolutely fascinating - we need more such positive, horizon-expanding pieces (and projects) at a time like this.

Fascinating piece, indeed. How right you are that Tolstoy's 'Haji Murad' will have such strong local resonance. Also reason to celebrate is upcoming full translation of his 'War and Peace' into Pashto, direct from the Russian original.

What an inspiring piece; I remember the BBC giving advice over the establishing of an Afghan 'Archers' style soap but this takes things to a different level. I do hope too that this finds a place as an item on BBC R4 such as 'Woman's Hour'.

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