Good Morning Afghanistan
(Published March 2007)
Waseem Mahmood OBE, who was raised in the Midlands, has spent most of his life working in the media industry. 9/11 not only changed his life but also some of his close friends, family and several people of all backgrounds by bringing them together to set up and operate Good Morning Afghanistan, the country’s first free radio station.
The book is an account of their unique journey and what was achieved in the chaos that followed the overthrow of the Taliban. Gun-toting US marines, roaming gangs of Afghan fighters and a total lack of electricity and equipment are just the most immediate hurdles facing the intrepid team.
Good Morning Afghanistan is a fast-paced mix of humour, bathos and heartbreak that breathes life into the dry news bulletins that accompanied the fall of the Taliban regime. The reader is assaulted with the sights, sounds and above all the smells of downtown Kabul in the months that followed the US invasion.
It is also a chillingly authentic call to arms against the Taliban and their extremist suppression of the Afghan people. Five years on with British troops battling a resurgent Taliban in the southern provinces of the country, it is a powerful reminder of why the West is still engaged in this barren but beautiful North-West frontier.
Waseem Mahmood is a media development consultant, specialising in post conflict media and public diplomacy. An awardwinning broadcaster, he began his career at the BBC in the General Programmes Department, producing for both television and radio.
He left the BBC in 1988 to set up TV Asia, a satellite subscription service for the British Asian community,where he was controller of programmes. More recently, he was Chief Consultant and Head of Consultancy Services for Baltic Media Centre, a Danish NGO, where he specialised in the development of communication and policy strategies for governments and broadcasters around the world. Postings included Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq to name a few. He was awarded an OBE in 2005 in Her Majesty’s New Year’s Honours List “for services to the reconstruction of Media in post war countries”, and received the KAPPA award in 2005 “for most outstanding contribution to media”.
Married with two children, he divides his time between Stratford-upon-Avon and the Middle East. He is currently working on his second book, a photographic book about Pakistan to be published in August to coincide with the sixtieth anniversary of the country’s independence.