PAK, Afghan documentary makers join hands to promote human rights



ISLAMABAD, Jul 28 (APP): Pakistani and Afghan documentary
makers presented their joint audio and video productions on human
rights issues at the Centre for Excellence in Journalism Karachi on
These documentaries were produced in a first-of-its-kind
residential training programme that brought together documentary
makers from Pakistan and Afghanistan in Karachi from 17-28 July
2017. The training was led by award-winning journalists from Serbia,
Sonja Ristic and Zoran Culafic, said a press release of United
Nation Information Centre Islamabad here.
Foundation Hirondelle, the Centre for Excellence in
Journalism, International Film Festival and Forum of Human Rights
and the United Nation Information Centre jointly organized the
training on ‘Documentary Making for Human Rights and Peacebuilding’,
which was funded by the Embassy of Switzerland in Pakistan.
Documentaries produced in the training would be broadcasted on radio
and screened at film festivals across the world.
“Bringing different people together is always a fascinating
idea. You get different perspectives, skill sets and different ways
of thinking,” Mohammad Behroozian from Afghanistan said, adding
that, “It is even more important when the people of Pakistan and
Afghanistan come together. The people-to-people diplomacy will,
hopefully, result in better relations between the people of the two
“There is a wide gap between the journalists of Pakistan and
Afghanistan. Trainings such as these definitely help build better
understanding among professionals and improve the prospects of
peace, because these people have the power to build public opinion,
” said Said Nazir, a Pakistani participant.
“It was not an easy decision to come to Pakistan because the
media shows only problems. There are more similarities between the
two cultures than differences. I found Pakistan like my own home,”
said Tamana Ayazi, a participant from Afghanistan.
Kanzul Fatima Arif (Pakistan), Gulzar Nayani (Pakistan) and
Tamana Ayazi’s (Afghanistan) film ‘Behaali’ or ‘Recovery’ is a
journey into the lives of two children Mohammad Ramzan and Shakeel,
who are recovering drug addicts but do not let their history of
addiction define them.
At the centre of Nameera Ahmad (Pakistan), Mohammad Behroozian
(Afghanistan) and Najiba Noori’s (Afghanistan) film ‘Sound of
Silence’ is a 15-year-old girl Fariah, who was born deaf. Through
Fariah’s story, the film explores the challenges faced by deaf
people in Karachi and how they deal with them. Radio journalist Said
Nazir (Pakistan) produced an audio documentary on the challenges and
success stories of transgender people in mainstream professions.
Sadeq Naseri (Afghanistan) produced an audio documentary on child
labour in Karachi.
Ambassador of Switzerland to Pakistan Marc P George, Director
UN Information Centre Vittorio Cammarota, diplomats as well as the
characters of the documentaries were present on the occasion. A day
earlier, the Swiss Consul General Philippe Crevoisier hosted the
closing ceremony of this training at his residence, which was also
attended by filmmakers and film enthusiasts.
In his comments Marc P. George, Ambassador of Switzerland in
Pakistan said: “The Swiss government is proud to offer this unique
opportunity to enhance dialogue and professional relations between
young Pakistani and Afghan documentary makers by developing common
projects with the support of professionals.”
Vittorio Cammarota, Director UN Information Centre said: “This
training programme refelcts the three pillars of the United Nations:
human rights, peace and security, and socio-economic development. We
brought filmmakers from Afghanistan and Pakistan to work on
documentaries on human rights with a focus on children and
This training programme was a concrete excercise of
peacebuilding and a great opportunity for promoting freedom of
Kamal Siddiqi, Director Centre for Excellence in Journalism
said: “We are happy to host such an exercise. It is our aim to make
CEJ a regional Centre for excellence in Journalism and we are
excited at the prospect of having journalists from Afghanistan and
Pakistan come together and collaborate in this manner at our state-
of-the-art facilities.
Such an initiative will help build bridges of understanding
between our two countries and we hope to conduct more such exercises
in the future too.”
Caroline Vuillemin, CEO Fondation Hirondelle said: “This
training was an exciting opportunity to marry capacity building and
production for the participants. The Fondation Hirondelle experts
worked with a mixed team that brought new angles and rich inputs to
the stories and produced unique documentaries.