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May 15, 2024 43 mins

A young radio producer in Afghanistan is given an impossible task: to create a brand new, revolutionary talent show in just two months.

Music at the end of this episode from Afghan musician Qais Maroof, contestant on The Voice of Afghanistan.

To purchase original Afghan Star artwork visit — proceeds go to support The Noor Initiative, who are on a mission to ensure every Afghan girl has access to education and opportunity.

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:13):
Afghanistar Episode one, light camera action. Welcome back to Afghanistan.
Please put your hands together for the host, the director,
the producer.

Speaker 2 (00:30):
The man who built this show, Daoud Zibiki.

Speaker 3 (00:39):
It's around eleven o'clock. I'm so thirsty, I'm so angry.
I'm so exhausted that I can't think about anything.

Speaker 1 (00:48):
It's September two thousand and five, just a few years
after the Taliban were driven out of Afghanistan, and Daoud
Sadiki has barely slept in days. He's been pulling all
nighters to get the first episode of a new TV
show out. It's called Afghanistar, and nothing like it has
ever aired in Afghanistan before. But right now daoude is

so exhausted he's about to pass out. So instead of
sticking around to watch the show.

Speaker 3 (01:25):
Go live, I just drove to my house and went home,
and my mom opened the door and I just went
to the bit with my offs clots.

Speaker 1 (01:38):
Daoud collapses into a deep sleep and he doesn't wake
until late the next morning.

Speaker 3 (01:44):
At that time, he didn't have the electricity at Cobble
that much like I didn't have a chance to listen
to radio or TV or anything.

Speaker 1 (01:51):
But as soon as he's up, He's in a panic.
He has no idea how the show's been received. Are
there people cheering in the street? M h are calling
for his head? He spent two sleepless months of his
life on this thing. Did anyone even watch? Also, he's

late for work, like really late. That would throw some
clothes on, jumps in his car, his hand shaking as
he turns on the radio, the chimes of the clock
playing at the top of the hour, and then the.

Speaker 4 (02:35):
Headlines against afghanst Star. Afghanst Star is one of the
most shows in the country. This is a new type
of show and the people are watching it, following it intensely,
seeing only ten hours through generators in long and starts.

Speaker 3 (02:59):
Oh my god, what happened?

Speaker 1 (03:06):
The answer to that question is going to define his life.
It will take him on a journey from the back
rooms of a makeshift TV station in Cobble all the
way across the globe.

Speaker 3 (03:22):
I was a celebrity of the country everywhere. I was
like on the skies.

Speaker 1 (03:29):
He will watch as his country is transformed.

Speaker 4 (03:33):
Lights, mikes and cameras.

Speaker 1 (03:35):
It's a different kind of battle in Afghanistan, one.

Speaker 5 (03:38):
That has the whole nation watching Osma because in the
aftermath of the Taliban.

Speaker 4 (03:46):
You still see rubble everywhere.

Speaker 1 (03:48):
There really was an American idol for Afghanistan.

Speaker 6 (03:53):
We cannot let the darkness come over us again. We
have to fight back with music.

Speaker 1 (04:03):
Afghan Star helped heal a nation torn apart by violence.

Speaker 6 (04:08):
Between all the explosions and all the disappointment, that was
light in the darkness.

Speaker 1 (04:19):
It allowed its people to fall in love with music
again and eventually had them running for their lives.

Speaker 6 (04:29):
I knew he had the gun, and I said to him,
if I get captured, please shoot me in the head.

Speaker 1 (04:51):
I'm John Legend from Kaleidoscope and iHeart podcasts. This is
Afghan Star.

Speaker 5 (05:00):
Then make a numba, eat a god, Buddha.

Speaker 7 (05:07):
Let no more on Ruda.

Speaker 1 (05:10):
Asma Sjodaka, chapter one, Friday Night Lights. Every once in

a while, there's a moment when the world seems to halt,
when streets fall quiet and people call one another to
stop everything and turn on the television. They gather in
apartments and living rooms, huddle onto sofas and floors. They
sit together, transfixed. You know these moments. The moon landing,

a royal wedding, and Princess of weddings. These moments can
be joyous and triumphant, like everyone watching as a hobble
gymnast somehow sticks a landing, or unimaginable, like the day

the towers fell.

Speaker 4 (06:29):
Back and then it's flappened out.

Speaker 8 (06:32):
It looks like it's it at its light tangle.

Speaker 9 (06:34):
Into the world's race.

Speaker 1 (06:35):
Then I can see I can see flames now coming out.

Speaker 7 (06:38):
The side of the building, and the smoke.

Speaker 8 (06:39):
Continue to billow.

Speaker 1 (06:44):
These are moments of cultural importance, when everyone drops what
they're doing to gather around a screen. Well. In Afghanistan,
for about fifteen years, these moments have and every Friday
night it's March two thousand and six, New Year's in Cobble.

The city should be bustling, two lip festivals, I've gotten
polo tournaments, old men wearing colorful clothes walking the streets,
spitting poetry. People should be gathering in mosques to raise
giant banners and cheer. But instead of it's a ghost town.
The only signs of life are coming from a few

houses and apartments, lights flickering from the windows. But look
closer and you see why. In each of these homes
there's a tiny television perched in the corner and huddled
around its warm glow. Are people so many people packed

in so tightly that you can barely see the ground.
They're all there to watch Afghan Star. In one of
these apartments, on one such sofa is Omit Nazami. He's

relaxing now, but he's been fielding calls all day, trying
to help his friends out.

Speaker 5 (08:23):
The people that they didn't have electricity. They keep calling,
do you have power? You have electricity? Tonight? Can you
tell me who is eliminated.

Speaker 1 (08:31):
To watch Afghan Star? People across the nation have pulled
their resources and shared their homes.

Speaker 5 (08:38):
You could see a family member that he is sitting
in a corner of the room and he's so upset.
She's so upset, and they say, come on, have food,
have dinner. No, I'm not doing well tonight. My favorite
contestant just got eliminated. He didn't deserve it.

Speaker 1 (08:53):
Everyone takes it seriously because this show means everything to them.
So why was watching a talent show so important to
these people? Well, before we answer that question, maybe I
should tell you a little bit about myself, because I

know what you're thinking. Why is John Legend hosting a
show about Afghanistan. Well, there's the talent show connection. For sure.
You might have seen me on the Voice. You have
so much passion that you also have discipline. I would
love for you to be on the team of the
defending voice champion. That's me, that's me, But this is

about something deeper. Music is my life. When I was
growing up, I heard it at home in the car.
At church every Sunday, we would sing in the gospel choir.
My grandfather was the pastor, my mother was the choir director,
my grandmother the church organist. It was my the whole world.

After college, I dropped out of a solid career in
management consulting because I couldn't stop thinking about music. And
then the other day I was reading the news and
the story popped up. It had a crazy headline, the
Taliban burned a pile of musical instruments because they're immoral.

The photo showed four men standing around a fire, just
a regular garbage fire. But then you look closer and
you see strings, mangled guitars, the shelves of these beautiful
harmoniums all charred up. I thought it. He's from Afghanistan's

Ministry for the Promotional Virtue and prevention of vice, created
a bonfire from a number of seased instruments and allowed
speaker in her province over the weekend. The idea that
anyone would destroy all these things that bring us so much.

Speaker 9 (11:12):
Joy and life. It's heartbreaking, but that image, it's the
key to understanding why Afghan Star was so important, why
a TV show could get a nation.

Speaker 1 (11:29):
To come to a halt. Because when the Taliban were
in power the first time in the nineties, they did
everything they could to rid the world of music. Clerics
would tear out the ERDs of cassettes and string them

up from trees. Morality police went around smashing radios and
boomboxes with hammers. They conducted brutal raids on houses and
terrified people into submission. Think about that for just onden second.

Think about all the songs you listen to today on
your commute or bopping around the house, the music you
heard in your car or hummed to yourself at the
grocery store. Think about the soundtrack of your life, from

the lullabies your mom sang, to road trips with friends,
piano lessons to first dances. Try to picture all of that.
He raised about the absence of music. That's what happened

in Afghanistan.

Speaker 7 (13:15):
On Silas.

Speaker 1 (13:20):
And the thing is, we tend to take shows like
The Voice and American Idol for granted, shows that you
binge when you want to zone out. But here in Afghanistan,
Afghanistan became a beacon, a reminder to a shell shocks

nation that it had permission, the freedom really to sing again,
to use their voices. Chapter two An impossible dream. So

back to Dairud, the guy we met at the top
of the show. Long before he set out to make
Afghan star. He was already a badass when the Taliban
banned music. He kept adding to his cassette collection, even
though it could mean a jail sentence or possibly death.
At night, He'd traveled to underground dance parties and hang

out with Kabo's cultural dissidence, people who'd risk their lives
for art. He watched Bollywood movies and fell in love
with the heroes, and so once the Taliban fell, he
was determined he wanted to be on screen, to be
a star. And that's when he met someone who changed

his life. I named Sad Mosenne. The world's going to
come to our rescue.

Speaker 9 (15:04):
And perhaps it's time for us Afghans, ourselves.

Speaker 1 (15:07):
In our own ways, to find a way out for
the country. Sad had launched a radio station in Kabu
and then a TV network that made news and soap
operas and music shows, and it wasn't long before Daoud
found his way to Sad's office to ask for a job.

Speaker 3 (15:26):
Oh my god, this is my place, that's where I
want to be.

Speaker 1 (15:30):
The two quickly hit it off.

Speaker 3 (15:32):
We would like having jokes and fun and chit chat.
Give us this chance to be ourselves.

Speaker 1 (15:40):
In a lot of ways. Sad story couldn't be more
different than Daoud's. He left Afghanistan in the seventies. We
took refuge in places like the US and Australia and
Europe because we were forced out of our homeland. Then,
in October two thousand and one, after American troops invaded
Afghanistan to topple the Taliban regime, So'd sinsed an opportunity.

It feels like a calling to go back. In his
mid thirties, at the time, Sad thinks this is it.
Afghanistan doesn't have a stock market, the media is dead.
He can do something Before long, Sad wants to change
the whole culture of Afghanistan, and he knows there's no

better way than through the small screen. He's determined to
make a splash. He's going to import soap operas and
put women news anchors on air. But most of all,
he wants to try out a new kind of show,
one that has never been seen in Afghanistan before American

Idol but Afghan And as if that isn't hard enough,
he wants to put it out in just a couple
of months to beat any competition to the idea. The
thing is, if this is going to work, Sad needs
someone he can try to handle it, someone who loves music,
someone who can pull favors and hustle to get this

to air. And that's when he starts yelling for someone
to get him daoude Chapter three, just go make a
show to hear Daoud tell it. The conversation didn't take

that long.

Speaker 3 (17:31):
And I remember exactly this sentence, like you said, I
want you to make this show happen. I don't know
how go and make this show for us. That was
a big expectation, Like I knew this is not a
small show, this is something big. I didn't know how
to start, what to do, what will happen.

Speaker 1 (17:54):
Sad is watching Daoud carefully waiting for an answer.

Speaker 3 (17:57):
And after five to ten seconds pause, I said, okay,
I will make.

Speaker 1 (18:03):
It, and then Sad hands him a DVD.

Speaker 3 (18:09):
He gave me Australian Idol DVDs and he told me
go and watch this and try to make something like this.

Speaker 1 (18:19):
Okay, that's it. That's the only guidance. He had a
few Australian Idol DVDs and now he has about sixty
days to go make the thing. So he puts the
DVDs into the machine and hits play.

Speaker 6 (18:35):
I'm just gonna find my note.

Speaker 1 (18:42):
What what sort of music do you like? To listen
to it and lock everything? I level styles of music?

Speaker 2 (18:47):
App yes, mom, it's nothing kiuge.

Speaker 1 (18:54):
Immediately he starts scribbling down notes as fast as his
hand will let him.

Speaker 3 (18:59):
The stages, the lighting, and I don't have any clue
how it works.

Speaker 1 (19:04):
He's never done anything like this before, never produced a
live show of any kind. He has so many things
he has to figure out. Singers, stage lighting, He's trying
to understand the format, the camera angles, the different components,
and he's trying to work out what he should tackle first.

Speaker 3 (19:22):
Okay, people are coming, and then audition happens, and then
come to judges.

Speaker 1 (19:31):
He thinks maybe if he starts with a few judges,
he can build from there.

Speaker 3 (19:36):
That's good. I thought, that's one of the eazy things
that they can do in one or two days.

Speaker 1 (19:42):
Except with Afghanistar, nothing's ever that easy. Back in two
thousand and five, Afghanistan didn't have pop stars. There were
no cool girl groups, no singers that shot to fame
on social media. Basically, not many good candidates to be
a judge on a reality show. But Daoud has an idea.

The one thing people hire performers for is weddings, so
he starts reaching out to random wedding singers.

Speaker 3 (20:10):
I introduced myself and said, okay, this is the idea.
We want to make a music talent show. I want
you guys to be my judges.

Speaker 1 (20:18):
He promises to put them on air, make them famous,
but all he's getting is blank stares. So Daoud explains
it in more detail. He talks about the performances, the exposure,
the spotlight.

Speaker 3 (20:32):
And they said no, we can't come to this show.

Speaker 1 (20:36):
Daoude is taken aback. He can't get his words out
fast enough.

Speaker 3 (20:39):
Why? Why this is a good opportunity. You guys can
gain more name for yourselves and that will help you
to reach more people and people will know you.

Speaker 1 (20:49):
But these singers haven't seen a show like this and
they don't think it will work. Nothing, Daoud says, can
change any of their minds. He's completely deflated. This was
supposed to be the easy part. And that's when he
gets another call from Sad. Sad tells him not only
do I need you to find male judges, I also

want a female judge.

Speaker 3 (21:14):
When he said that a break almost, I said, what
you are talking about, Sade?

Speaker 1 (21:20):
What's going on with you?

Speaker 3 (21:21):
Do you know you're an Abon's son. There was still
people supporters of Toliban, people with different opinions, more traditional,
more religious. They were against these ideas.

Speaker 1 (21:40):
Daoud is losing it on the phone. He's thinking, the
Taliban have only just left blue jeans, women returning to schools,
that stuff is just starting to come back. But putting
a woman on TV in a position of power that
feels like something this society isn't ready for yet. The

task feels so insane he can't stop himself from yelling
into the phone.

Speaker 3 (22:06):
I can't find a man to be a judge of
our true you are asking me to find a woman,
are you crazy?

Speaker 1 (22:15):
But sah, he's an optimist. He knows he's asking too
much of Daoude, but he's also got a lead, an
aspiring politician, and he says, just talk to her.

Speaker 3 (22:31):
She was like shocked, what are we talking about. I'm
not a musician. I'm not a good choice for this.

Speaker 1 (22:40):
But as Daoude keeps talking to her, he sees an opening.

Speaker 3 (22:44):
I said, okay, I see you in a different interviews
and says thing about the presence of women and the
society in media and politics and all the things. If
you are not participating, then tomorrow, don't blame me if
I don't have any lady, any representative of women in

my show.

Speaker 1 (23:07):
One guilt trip later and she's on board. That's one
judge down. Then Daoud's colleague suggests an old singer from
the villages, so Daoud gives him a call.

Speaker 3 (23:18):
He just cuted me in the middle and said, you
guys are paying me. I said yes. He said, don't
worry about don't explain to me. I will come whatever
the show is.

Speaker 1 (23:27):
He's so in need of money that he doesn't even
let Daoud finish his pitch.

Speaker 3 (23:31):
Okay, I have two judges, he.

Speaker 1 (23:34):
Just needs three to pull this off. So he approaches
a local music shop.

Speaker 3 (23:38):
On it there was a guy he was okay singer
and he had a very good music instrument shop.

Speaker 1 (23:46):
He also just released a song that was playing on TV,
which for Daoude is good enough. Daoud consults his Australian
Idol DVDs. He's officially checked off the first item find judges.
Now it's time for the fun part. Chapter four, Meet

the Stars. On audition day, Daoud is up early. He's
heading into the city center.

Speaker 3 (24:18):
And rented one of the biggest rooms of this five
star hotel and in the middle of Coobol.

Speaker 1 (24:24):
At that time, Daoud is thinking it's only been about
three years since the Taliban were in power. He has
no idea if even ten people will show up.

Speaker 3 (24:34):
I went there at eight forty five. When I get close,
the streets are jammed. I thought, okay, Cobbol is a
big city, maybe that's normal traffic, but this is an
unusual jam.

Speaker 1 (24:50):
Daoud elbows his way through the crowds, thinking what is
going on? He can't work it out.

Speaker 3 (24:56):
Oh my god, Police is there? Security is there? This
is a chaos.

Speaker 1 (25:00):
As the Oude gets closer to the hotel, he realizes
that all of this chaos is his fault.

Speaker 3 (25:08):
And now I see a big crowd of people in
front of the hotel.

Speaker 1 (25:13):
These people have heard his advertisements and they've come to audition.
Plus they brought all their friends and family for support.

Speaker 3 (25:21):
Security. If the hotel is so angry on us, like,
you guys are crazy? What's going on with you? What
type of show is this? What you guys are doing?

Speaker 1 (25:30):
Hundreds of people have turned up and now they're all
crammed into the hotel lobby.

Speaker 3 (25:35):
We had space for one hundred and twenty people. We
got these people and we took them upstairs and started
the audition.

Speaker 1 (25:43):
The judges are sitting side by side at a long table.
On the wall behind them is a red banner with
a few yellow stars scattered across it and images of
men and women singing into microphones. This is about as
close as he can get to Australian idol on his budget.
One by one, people step into the room to audition.

Speaker 3 (26:04):
Some of them were dancing, some of them were singing
like English songs. Some of them like Indian songs.

Speaker 1 (26:11):
There's just one problem.

Speaker 3 (26:12):
They thought they are very good singers, genuinely, but they
were terrible singers.

Speaker 7 (26:21):
Got heavy light us on.

Speaker 3 (26:25):
Gote heavy light us on.

Speaker 2 (26:39):
I why why.

Speaker 1 (26:46):
His Australian Idol DVDs have taught him that terrible singing
is a big part of what makes these shows great.
Everyone knows the audience loves shower singers and karaoke hogs
and people who think they're great because they're says they are.
But as contestant after contestant walks up to the mic,
belting out awful sounds, that Wode starts to get nervous.

Where are the people you could actually root for?

Speaker 5 (27:20):
No no, no no no no no no no no
no no no no no no no no no no.

Speaker 1 (27:27):
But just when all seems lost, like the show might
fail because no one here can hold a tune, a
young guy steps in front of the judges.

Speaker 8 (27:37):
Zindiggiecausafer, Hey you casufer.

Speaker 1 (27:48):
Koy some.

Speaker 2 (27:50):
Johnny coy John, Hey you can yes see the.

Speaker 1 (28:01):
Girl, and Daou thinks this is who I've been waiting for.

Speaker 8 (28:09):
Gooy so.

Speaker 2 (28:11):
Johnny goody joy.

Speaker 1 (28:34):
Hey it's John legend. If you've been listening, you already
know that Afghanstar is a tale of resistance and hope.
For fifteen years, Afghanstar was a beacon, but when the
Taliban returned to power, they shut the show down along
with so many Afghan rights. They banned music education for

girls and women, and they continue to clamp down on
everyone freedoms. But there are ways to show your support.
We've teamed up with AWA Studios and their incredible graphic
artists to illustrate some of the most extraordinary moments in
this podcast. There is a unique print for each episode,

bringing to life powerful moments that are moving and inspiring,
and there's an unforgettable print based on a painting from
superstar artist Raza that represents the spirit of hope embodied
by the show. Art and music have the power to
uplift us all, and ordering a work for yourself or

as a gift help support Afghans. With every purchase, we'll
be donating to the Nore Initiative, a nonprofit working to
ensure that every Afghan girl has access to education and opportunity.
For more information on our collaboration with AWA, the artworks
available to listeners, and to learn more about the NORE

initiatives efforts to educate, support independent media, and transform lives
across the region. Head to the link in our show
notes below, Chapter five. Shakib, this she gave had.

Speaker 8 (30:37):
I was driving a van, you know like Uber and Lyft.
While I driving, I was singing a lot and there
was the passengers always saying like, oh you have a
good vice.

Speaker 7 (31:00):
Oh no.

Speaker 1 (31:04):
Leg. In the behind the scenes biographies you get about
contestants on reality shows, you often hear about the feel
good the way Shakib likes to dance to Bollywood, the
way his favorite passenger won't get out of the car
until he's done an encore. But this is not a
normal reality show. This is taking place in Afghanistan. That

is the picture.

Speaker 8 (31:32):
That's my father there.

Speaker 1 (31:35):
He was a peaceful person.

Speaker 8 (31:39):
I you gonna tell you about something. Let me smoke
a sig, give me one minute.

Speaker 1 (31:48):
Not long ago, Shakuiv's father was murdered.

Speaker 8 (31:52):
It's too hard if you see your father in peace,
you know, like dam dum dum, dun dumb someone coming
in sociding the if I'm in, the legs is somewhere,
you know, the head is somewhere, the body is, you know.

Speaker 4 (32:05):

Speaker 1 (32:09):
His older brother was murdered too.

Speaker 8 (32:13):
My brother was always playing soccer. He was crazy about soccer. Wow,
during halftime, the rockets come there and you know, boom.

Speaker 1 (32:27):
So now Shakiv is alone in providing for his mother
and sister. He thinks auditioning is a waste of time,
but his mom won't take no for an answer.

Speaker 8 (32:40):
My mom, you know, took me there like case and
don't worry. I gotta pray for you.

Speaker 1 (32:46):
So she drives him to the audition with his cousins
in tow and watches as Shakiv is welcomed onto the
stage by Daoud. Like many of the contestants, Shakiv sings
a song by one of the only famous Afghan singers,
Akhman Sahir a k a.

Speaker 8 (33:04):
The Afghan elvis Ahmazare was my favorite.

Speaker 10 (33:10):
As mama, as me as me, they got.

Speaker 8 (33:28):
Me as the matz me as mesafer me kum deblah
bosi so it they got me kum.

Speaker 1 (33:50):
The judges like it so much they ask him to
perform another.

Speaker 8 (33:55):
And then I sing farha daya song mm hmm lundio
javonido and they was like, oh, make noises like that.

Speaker 3 (34:17):
The mam all along the.

Speaker 1 (34:25):
A smile spreads across his face. Shakid is a natural
and with that, Afghanstar has its first real contender.

Speaker 8 (34:35):
When I was selected, you know, like my mom was crying.

Speaker 1 (34:39):
She was so happy.

Speaker 8 (34:43):
She was like hugging me and saying, Snai, proud of you.

Speaker 1 (34:47):
I I knew it.

Speaker 8 (34:48):
You're gonna make it.

Speaker 1 (34:57):
Chapter six, the Ray. Too many people have shown up
for the audition. Daoud has hundreds of contestants on tape,
but people are still queuing outside begging to be heard.
Before long, Dawood has to reverse course. All the advertisements

telling people to come an audition are pulled from TV
and radio and they're replaced with the opposite.

Speaker 3 (35:28):
And we made I advertise to people that please don't come.
The show is finished, the recording is done, Please don't
come to this area.

Speaker 1 (35:40):
Dawoud feels good about his recordings. He has all the
tape he needs, but now he's got an even bigger
task editing. The first episode is airing in just a
few days now.

Speaker 3 (35:53):
I have like tons of footage in front of me
and I need to make a show from this. It's
a huge responsibility. Oh my god, I have like a
mountain on my shoulders.

Speaker 1 (36:07):
And right now. That mountain is looking mount ever is tall.
Remember this is two thousand and five, so before they
can edit anything, they need to transfer the footage to
their computers. And these aren't high tech machines. They're doing
this on a shoe string, so it takes them two
full days. Time is slipping away. That wood is frantically editing.

He doesn't even have time for sleep.

Speaker 3 (36:33):
And nine pm we need to have a show on
air because we already advertised Afgane Star Show is coming.

Speaker 1 (36:41):
But it's eleven am and only half of the show
is ready.

Speaker 3 (36:45):
I have the bit stress. I have like working under
the hardest stress in my life at that moment, especially
after twelve o'clock when whenever the time is getting close,
my dispressure goes up.

Speaker 1 (37:01):
After a few hours, thou would starts to relax, but
then he realizes he's missing something.

Speaker 3 (37:12):
Where is the beginning and end of the show? My god,
I don't have announcement to say, Hi, welcome to afghanist
Our show. I am the Oudzedigree. This is the first time.
Thank you so much for watching.

Speaker 1 (37:24):
In the chaos of the auditions, they forgot to record an.

Speaker 3 (37:28):
Intro, Like I have two three hours to the show
being aired, but slowly, slowly getting darker. And it's Friday
that most of our colleagues left the office.

Speaker 1 (37:40):
That gets up from his desk and starts running around
the office looking for someone to help. But everyone who
knows how to operate a camera has gone home except
for one guy, a cameraman who works for the news team.

Speaker 3 (37:53):
Okay, ask him, you need to come with me. He
was not interested. You need to talk to my manager.
I said, just take your camera. You're Mike. Come with me, please.

Speaker 1 (38:04):
That would cannot believe he's wasting the last minutes of
daylight trying to persuade this guy to roll some film.

Speaker 3 (38:10):
We drove to this hotel again, but that.

Speaker 1 (38:14):
Would needs the opener to be stylish, so he makes
a pit stop at a nearby music store.

Speaker 3 (38:19):
I got one of the guitars in my shoulder. I
kind of make a style for myself for the first show,
and I basically recorded my introduction in this hotel. Run
back to Tolo TV and put it in front of
the show.

Speaker 1 (38:39):
The show is airing at nine PM, and now at
two minutes before nine, they only have the first twelve
minutes lined up and ready to go.

Speaker 3 (38:47):
I'm running between the control room and the edit room,
like or you finish, please export, please.

Speaker 1 (38:52):
But the computers are moving too slowly. Part two of
the show isn't ready, and the ads are almost over
racing between rooms, begging people to just export whatever they have.

Speaker 3 (39:04):
We put some extra advertisement to give us a little
bit of time.

Speaker 1 (39:08):
They start patting the show with extra ads to give
them cushion. Part two is ready, it goes on air,
but Part three is so far behind, so they play
more commercials. They do that over and over again. Daoud's
blood pressure is through the roof.

Speaker 3 (39:24):
Basically, I run from the control room and edit room
for the entire show, and the show was aired, and
I'm exhausted, so I don't care about anything right now.
I just delivered the show. It's fine. I didn't see

the show. I don't know what it looks like, how
it feels like, what it is. I put something on.

Speaker 1 (39:51):
Air, and as you know, thou doesn't stick around to watch.
He needs to go to bed, so it won't be

until morning that he turns on his car radio and
finds out the show he just aired has kicked off
a revolution.

Speaker 5 (40:33):
It was something new like never before in the history
of Afghanistan moving.

Speaker 3 (40:39):
A visor from one house to another house. It was
kind of like moving a truck full of drugs.

Speaker 1 (40:46):
I think it was called Devil's Star by some people.

Speaker 6 (40:49):
They actually said that my head should be cut off,
and whoever that cuts off my head and brings it
to them.

Speaker 3 (40:57):
They will go to heaven.

Speaker 1 (41:00):
That's this season on Afghanis Stars.

Speaker 7 (41:05):
Asma Name Name done by your de What do gia ma?

Speaker 1 (41:36):
Afghan Star is a Kaleidoscope production in collaboration with iHeart Podcasts,
produced by Samizdat Audio and hosted by me John Legend
from Samizdat Audio. The series producer is Meera Kumar. Our
executive producers are Joe Sykes and Dasha Lisitsina. Mix and

sound designed by Jeff Emtman, Story editing by Joe Sykes,
with original composition by Kyle Murdoch, Recording engineer Tim McClain.
Chapter artwork by A W A Studios . From Kaleidoscope,

the executive producers are Kate Osborne, Mangesh Hattikudur Oz Woloshyn
and Costas Linos from iHeart. The executive producers are Ali
Perry and Katrina Norvell. Social Media by Dara Potts and
Vahini Shori. Special thanks to Tom Freston, Lizzie Jacobs, Will Pearson,

Carrie Lieberman, Nikki Ettore, Bob Pittman, John Sykes, Conal Byrne,
Saad Mossehni and the Mossehni family, Matthew Anderson, and Axel Alonso,

who oh, thank you,
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