Originally posted by Creating Hope International
On Sunday, May 17, Radio Meraj 94.1 FM in Herat, Afghanistan officially began broadcasting. The launch came after weeks of test broadcasts and was celebrated with an official launch ceremony. During the ceremony, Dr. Sakena Yacoobi, the station’s founder said, “This radio station is being established in order to provide people with services and awareness about human rights, children’s rights, civil rights, good governance, democracy, peace, social justice, laws, and education. This station is not political, but rather it will work to improve morality, humanity, character and the behavior of the people. Moreover, it will strive to work with Afghan youth in order to bring positive change to their lives.”
Dr. Yacoobi’s senior advisor, Wali Shah Bahra then spoke saying, “Education is the first step in development, and media is one of the best tools for carrying out educational goals.”
The manager of the station then said that the station would be focused on education, health and women’s rights, adding “We would like to improve the life expectancy of people. Afghans are tired of hearing disappointing news, and we want to give them something else to listen to.”
The deputy governor of Herat also spoke at the ceremony, saying, “I am very interested in media because it is an efficient and easy way to transfer knowledge… to people. As the deputy governor, I would like to see Dr. Yacoobi establish a TV station as well. I appreciate all here for changing the lives and minds of the youth by providing these services. I am so happy that Radio Meraj is giving awareness to those in distant villages where people have no access to educational programming.”
Dr. Sakena Yacoobi, as well as the deputy governor and other members of the Herat government, university professors, social activists, journalists, and other members of civil society attended the event. The ceremony was broadcast on Afghan National Radio and Television, as well as local radio and television stations, including Radio Meraj. News of the launch was on the front page of many newspapers the following Monday.
Hundreds of young adults shared news of the radio station on Facebook leaving comments such as:
- As a university student I have benefitted from Dr. Yacoobi’s programs; they have really changed my life. Radio Meraj is absolutely one of the most effective and efficient radio stations because of its founder, Dr. Yacoobi. I am so optimistic about this station, and I wish everyone involved great success.
- I live in a district of Herat City and I listen to radio in my free time. I found Radio Meraj during one of its test broadcasts. I think it is so interesting and is very high quality. I usually listen to music, and this station attracted me with great music. I am looking forward to listening to the educational programming on this station as well.
About the station: Radio Meraj is based in Herat Province, Afghanistan. It is equipped with the latest equipment, allowing its broadcast to be heard 100km away, reaching 9 districts of the province and further than most other stations and reaching approximately 2 million people.