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New Book Showcases Literary Talents of Ashna Anchor

Lina Rozbih-Haidari needs no introduction to viewers of TV Ashna, the popular television program that is broadcast in Dari and Pashto by VOA’s Afghan Service. She joined the service in 2003 as a radio broadcaster, but with the launch of Ashna in 2006, Rozbih took over the reins as the show’s anchor, where her responsibilities range from reporting news to interviewing high-ranking U.S. and Afghan officials.

But Ashna viewers may not know the show’s anchor is also an award-winning writer of poems, short stories, and non-fiction pieces, many of which have been anthologized in major Dari, Pashto and English publications. Her latest accomplishment is a collection of poems written in Dari and Farsi whose title translates into English as The Promise of Paradise. Rozbih-Haidari was born in Kabul and her collection dwells on subjects painfully familiar to the people of Afghanistan: the tragedies arising from the many years of war in her homeland.

"As host of Ashna TV,” she says, “VOA provides me with a platform to use my skills and command of the Dari language on a daily basis. Through my job, I am familiar with the latest news in Afghanistan and any critical reports, whether violence against women or children and other unfortunate incidents.” These incidents, she says, inspired many of the poems in The Promise of Paradise.