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Hamida Ghafour

The Sleeping Buddha: Portraits of a Changing Afghanistan

Date Recorded: May 14th, 2008
Recorded At: Toronto, Ontario
Recorded By: Big Ideas, www.tvo.org/bigideas
Duration: 30:00

Topic Background
When Hamida Ghafour returned to Afghanistan in 2003 to report for the Daily Telegraph, she found a place utterly changed from the world that her parents raised her to believe in. She witnessed the reconstruction efforts and the day to day struggles of the Afghani people, while coming to terms with her own identity and family history. An eyewitness account of Afghanistan’s struggle to find its identity, The Sleeping Buddha weaves together its elusive past and the story of Ghafour’s ancient and once prominent family, and offers a uniquely Canadian perspective on the West’s efforts to re-shape Afghanistan.

The recording was originally broadcast on TV Ontario’s Big Ideas programme in June, 2008, more information on this programme at www.tvo.org/bigideas.

Ms. Ghafour’s talk shares a Canadian Voices programme with Marina Nemat, who speaks on themes from her book, Prisoner of Tehran.

Speaker Biography
Hamida Ghafour is a Toronto-based author and journalist, whose recent book, “The Sleeping Buddha: Portraits of a Changing Afghanistan”, recounts her return to to her family’s native Afghanistan in 2003.

Ms. Ghafour’s family escaped the Soviet invasion of Afganinistan in 1981, eventually receiving political asylum in Canada in 1985. Raised in Toronto, she studied journalism at Ryerson University, became a Globe and Mail correspondent specializing in Islamic affairs, and in 2003 was assigned by the London Daily Telegraph to cover
post-Taliban era Afghanistan.

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