The Force of Protest

On 05-06-2007, Björn Richter from UNDP sent the following email to media:

Dear colleagues,on behalf of UNDP Seal project I am sending out this call two or three young journalists, that will produce on the “Afghan Youth Training Assembly” (see information and press-release attached) from 10th until 14th June each day a short summary of the day in Dari with two A4 pages to copy for all hundred participants. In the end these summaries should be unite with the resolution of the assembly and
pictures for a documentation, that will be printed after the assembly and hand out to all parliamentarians, media and the people involved in the youth-programme.

We are looking for two young journalists under 30 years that would like to take over this journalistic tasks and join the assembly each day at least half-time, in order to report actually. We will provide them with working-space, printing opportunities and a layout but it would be nice, if you can bring your own equipment with you – if not, we will find a solution. Of course we will pay a salary for this job, that has to be negotiated with the candidates beforehand.

Would be great, if you join the team and apply to my Email-adress b.richter@youthpress.org with your CV, a short letter of motivation and your availibility between 10th and 14th June until Thursday at 2 o ´clock p.m.
If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact me at  0797/953025.
Thank you in advance,
Björn Richter

As stated above, they were arranging the youth assembly only in Dari. It was a clear violation of the constitution of Afghanistan. We protested it because Pashto and Dari both are national and official languages of Afghanistan, so this Assembly should be presented in both languages. We forwarded the email with to our friends with a protesting note and it got a good result as Björn Richter wrote next day:

Dear colleagues,thank you very much for raising awarness about our idea of a  newspaper, that is covering the first “Afghan Youth Training  Assembly”, which will take place next week as a joint partnership  between the Ministry of Culture and Youth, National Assembly and UNDP  Seal project. Thanks for your remarks, that the newspaper needs to be  published in Dari and Pashto as this are the official languages of  Afghanistan. We talked today with all partners and agreed to use both  languages of course and thanks to your support we even found one  Pashto journalist, that will join the team in this short time.

As I am in the country only since a few days for this youth assembly  I was simple not aware of your language situation and after talking  with your people I found out, that one language would be enough to  produce in this short time. But I found out with your help that I was  wrong and appreciate your support by providing me with contacts to  Pashto-speaking journalists. As I am a German journalist myself I  want to thank you and hope, that we realise a great youth assembly  covered by Afghan media next week.

If you have any more questions do not hesitate to call me at 0797/95302.
Yours, Björn

The force of protest changed their decision. A good protest is like a winning war. So lets raise our voice for national interests.

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