Friday, October 31, 2014


Communications / In Memoriam

RFE/RL Mourns Afghan Colleague Zubair Zhman

Afghanistan -- Radio Free Afghanistan Pashto editor Ahmad Zubair Zhman.
Afghanistan -- Radio Free Afghanistan Pashto editor Ahmad Zubair Zhman.

Zubair Zhman, 32, passed away in the early morning hours on Saturday, July 5, 2014 in a hospital in Islamabad, Pakistan. He was diagnosed with cancer.

Zhman joined RFE/RL's Afghan service, known locally as Radio Azadi, as  a field reporter in Kabul in 2007. His colleagues quickly came to revere him for his journalistic skills, dedication, and compassion.

In 2010 he was promoted to the position of chief editor of Radio Azadi's Pashto division, a position he held until his death.

Zhman's death elicted a torrent of comments from colleagues and listeners of Radio Azadi. Hundreds of people expressed their condolences on their Facebook pages.

In a written statement that was also broadcast on national television, Afghan President Hamid Karzai called Zhman's demise "a great loss for Afghan media," and expressed Karzai's condolences to Zhman's family, colleagues, and friends. On Monday, a member of the president's office visited the family and made a tribute of 5000USD.

Minister of Information and Culture Sayed Makhdoom Rahin called Zhman a "talented journalist and a gifted writer and translator."

The Kabul-based Afghanistan Center for Journalists (AFJC) recalled Zhman's talent and called his demise a great loss for Afghan media.

RFE/RL Editor in Chief Nenad Pejic said that Zhman led his colleagues with "wisdom, courage, and compassion," and that "he was a model to reporters in the region and elsewhere who believe in the fundamental right to information and the power of the truth."  

Zhman was a steadfast follower of the doctrine of nonviolence of Mahatma Gandhi and Khan Abdul Ghafar Khan (Bacha Khan). He wrote and translated several books and essays on the nonviolent struggle of Ghafar Khan in the territory that is today's Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan.

Zhman is survived by a wife and two-year-old daughter.

Tags: Afghanistan,Radio Azadi,zubair zhman,rferl afghan service,afghan media