pakistan

Pakistan has made a lot of progress this year in wiping out polio. There are signs that one type of poliovirus is gone and transmission of other strains seems to be slowing.

But a recent outbreak of polio there has health officials concerned about the overall effectiveness of the effort to eliminate polio in that country.

Tayyeb Afridi for KUT News

Tayyeb Afridi is a journalist from the Federally Administered Tribal Area of Pakistan, a region that borders Afghanistan. He visited KUT in May 2011 on a US Pakistan Journalism Exchange through the International Center for Journalists. You can read his blog at tayyebafridi.blogspot.com.

A local radio station in Pakistan’s unsettled tribal area shows how important media can be in spreading awareness of the importance of education. About 180 new students turned up at one government school in the town of Razmak in North Waziristan after the local radio station broadcast announcements telling parents that education in government schools was free. Most local parents thought they would have to pay for schooling.   

Razmak Radio was established in 2006 to bridge the gap between people and their government. It has started a public service announcement (PSA) campaign to educate people on development issues. It designed PSAs in March and broadcast them throughout the month to motivate local people to enroll their children in school.

Office of the Governor

Samreen Ghauri is a Pakistani journalist visiting the U.S. on a fellowship under the U.S.-Pakistan Professional Partnership in Journalism. The program is run by the International Center for Journalists in Washington D.C. and is funded by the U.S. State Department. Here’s Samreen’s thoughts on U.S. politics this election season.

Attending a Texas House of Representatives committee meeting and a press conference with Governor Rick Perry in one day – all against the ongoing backdrop of the U.S. presidential debates – I felt the true democratic, liberal force that makes America a prosperous country and role model to countries around the world. 

Democracy aims for social justice, equal opportunity, and people’s rights of liberty. Citizens’ political ideas, values, and beliefs are important components in democracy everywhere, especially in societies undergoing a democratic transition. This is my impression of the American society I have been observing for the last two weeks. Here in America, in a middle of a presidential campaign, I see politics and the democratic process being debated everywhere.

Tamir Kalifa for KUT

"The people of Austin are overwhelmingly friendly, warm and open to the acceptance of other cultures."  

That's one takeaway from visiting Pakistani  journalist Samreen Ghauri, who attended the Austin City Limits Music Festival this weekend. Below, read Samreen’s thoughts about ACL, Austin’s role as the “Live Music Capital,” and how music can help bridge cultural divides.

The annual Austin City Limits Music Festival actually has no limits. No limits to the fun, music, and food, but more importantly, no limit to the company of loved ones. The festival truly depicts the American way of life: enjoying life with a full sprit and enthusiasm.

I easily connected with the festival, because in Pakistan we have similar events. I belong to a traditional eastern society that has a rich cultural and musical heritage. In our society, music is a large part of daily life: at religious occasions, social events and cultural gatherings, music is always on.

flickr.com/kash_if

Samreen Ghauri is a visiting journalist from Pakistan. KUT News asked Samreen to share her thoughts on the Taliban’s attack on a young Pakistani girl who was fighting to educate girls in her region.

The Taliban’s attack on 15-year-old Malala Yusuf Zia is symbolic of the battle between liberal, democratic forces and religious fundamentalism in Pakistan. Pakistani civil society – common people, liberal and bright-minded – stand together and strongly condemn this barbaric crime. 

NPR reports that the Pakistani Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack against Malala. NPR writes:

Pakistan's Dawn newspaper says it has been told by a spokesman for the Taliban that the girl was targeted for spreading "anti-Taliban and 'secular' thoughts among the youth of the area." Malala, Dawn says, was "hit by couple of bullets to her neck and head." While hospitalized, she is said to be "out of danger." She may, though, need to be sent overseas for treatment.

The Taliban reportedly say they'll target her again.

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