All about Pakistan's Aware Girls
This week on The Sound Kitchen, you'll hear the answer to the question about the women's rights organization founded in 2002 by Gulalai and Saba Ismail in Pakistan. There's the Listener Mailbag, great music, and of course, the new quiz question. Just click on the arrow in the photo above and enjoy!
Hello everyone! Welcome to The Sound Kitchen weekly podcast, published every Saturday. You'll hear the winner's names announced and the week's quiz question, along with all the other ingredients you've grown accustomed to: your letters and essays, “On This Day”, quirky facts and news, interviews, and great music … so be sure and listen every week.
I want to hear from you about your little moments of joy. Small, daily things: a beautiful sunset, a baby's laugh. Let's add that as a very nice ingredient to our communal cooking – let's share the joy! In these crazy times, we all need it … write to me at [email protected]
For our DX enthusiast and shortwave listener friends: I am sad to announce we no longer have a shortwave frequency; we have severe budget constraints which no longer permit us to broadcast via shortwave.
"Paris Live", our afternoon news program, is on-the-air Monday – Friday, from 13:00 to 14:00 UTC/GMT. You can hear "Paris Live" on our website, rfienglish.com, or on World Radio Network.
For North America: WRN broadcasts the quotidian RFI English programme three times a day from Monday to Friday, from 05:00 to 05:59, from 09:00 to 09:59 and from 15:00 to 15h59 UTC/GMT.
For Africa and Asia: WRN broadcasts the quotidian RFI English programme three times a day from Monday to Friday, from 05:00 to 05:59, from 09:00 to 09:59 and from 15:00 to 15h59 UTC/GMT.
For Europe: WRN broadcasts the quotidian RFI English programme three times a day from Monday to Friday, from 06:00 to 06:50, from 11:00 to 11:59 and from 19:00 to 19:59 UTC/GMT.
In Paris, you can hear us on World Radio Paris on DAB+, Monday to Friday from 16:00 to 16:59 and from 21:00-21:59 UTC/GMT.
To listen to our features, go to our website and click on “Features”. You'll see all of our features (now podcasts only). You can either listen directly, or subscribe and receive them directly on your mobile phone. Don't give up on us!
Teachers, take note! I save postcards and stamps from all over the world to send to you for your students. If you would like stamps and postcards for your students, just write and let me know. The address is [email protected]
Did you know there's an RFI English newsletter? If you subscribe, you'll receive our newsletter every day. Just click on Newsletters, fill out the form, and you'll stay up-to-date with RFI English.
RFI Clubs: Be sure to always include Audrey Iattoni ([email protected]) and Chrystelle Nammour ([email protected]) from our Listener Relations department on all your RFI Club correspondence. Remember to copy me ([email protected]) when you write them so that I know what is going on, too. N.B. You do not need to send them your quiz answers! Email overload!
We've made a Facebook page just for you, the RFI English Clubs. It is a closed group, so when you apply to join, be sure you include the name of your RFI Club and your membership number. Everyone can look at it, but only members of the group can post on it. If you haven't yet asked to join the group, go to the Facebook link above and fill out the questionnaire!!!!! (if you do not answer the questions, I click “decline”).
This week's quiz: On 3 August, I asked you a question about Gulalai Ismail, a feminist and peace activist from Pakistan. You were to write in with the name of the organization she founded with her sister Saba in 2002.
The answer is: Aware Girls. The organization works for women's equality and peace in Pakistan, mainly in the northwest and tribal areas of the country. Aware Girls works to strengthen the leadership capacity of young women and girls, so that they can be agents for social change in their communities. Gulalai, an ethnic Pashtun, was only 16 years old when she founded the organization (she's now in her early 30's), and she's worked tirelessly since then: she and her sister and the other young women who work with them have trained thousands of other women about their rights and on peace building, on how to run for and to hold electoral office, and they work with “at risk” youths to keep them from extremism.
Gulalai Ismail got sidewise with the Pakistani government this year: Pakistan's security services accused Ms Ismail of several serious offenses - including sedition, financing terrorism and defaming state institutions. Why?
Last January, she aired allegations, on Facebook and Twitter, that government soldiers had raped or sexually abused many Pashtun women. She also joined protests led by an ethnic Pashtun rights protest movement known as PTM. PTM has called the Pakistani security forces to account for extrajudicial killings and other injustices. Pakistan's military has tried to crush PTM.
In August, when I asked you the question about her, no one had seen her in two months, although the authorities had raided - more than once - her family's home, taking away computers, mobile phones – and the family's driver, who was drugged and severely beaten.
Gulalai Ismail's father – who is very proud of his daughter's activism – warned her not to speak up about the rape allegations against the army; he knew it was extremely dangerous to provoke the military.
He told the New York Times: “But she got very harsh with me and said, 'I am a human-rights activist, I have to stand with them.'”
After four months in hiding, The New York Times reported this week that Gulalai Ismail is out of Pakistan and in the U-S, where she is seeking political asylum. She is safe, but terribly worried about the fate of her parents.
The winners are: Three listeners from Pakistan: Shahzad Shabbir, the president of the Pak France International Listeners Club in District Sahiwal; Mehran Khan Laghari from Sindh, and from District Chiniot, Razia Khalid, a member of the RFI Seven Stars Listeners Club. Moving over to India, Mousumi Khatun from the RFI International DX Radio Listeners Club in Murshidabad, and RFI Listeners Club member Jayanta Chakrabarty from New Delhi.
Here's the music you heard on this week's program: Traditional Pakistani Pashto music for rubab; “The Flight of the Bumblebee” by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov; Mozart's Concerto for Flute, Harp, and Orchestra in C major, performed by Tamara Coha Mandić, flute, Diana Grubišić Ćiković, harp, and the Croatian chamber orchestra conducted by Igor Tatarević, and “Precious Memories” by JBF Wright, sung by Aretha Franklin and the Reverend James Cleveland, with the Southern California Community Choir.
Do you have a musical request? Send it to [email protected]
This week's question ... You'll have to listen to the show to participate. You have until 11 November to enter this week's quiz; the winners will be announced on the 16 November podcast. When you enter, be sure you send your postal address in with your answer, and if you have one, your RFI Listeners Club membership number.
Send your answers to:
RFI – The Sound Kitchen
80, rue Camille Desmoulins
By text … You can also send your quiz answers to The Sound Kitchen mobile phone. Dial your country's international access code, or “ + ”, then 33 6 31 12 96 82. Don't forget to include your mailing address in your text – and if you have one, your RFI Listeners Club membership number.
To find out how you can win a special Sound Kitchen prize, click here
To find out how you can become a member of the RFI Listeners Club, or to form your own official RFI Club, click here