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Dispatches wins gold in New York

A report from Afghanistan that Naheed Mustafa made for Dispatches won a Gold Medal at the New York Radio Awards on September 24.

Shovelling The Rain Away measures progress in Afghanistan toward the political, human rights and humanitarian goals of the allied mission there, leading up to the 2009 elections. Naheed found a glaring dilemma that remains today.


Nothing takes root there to advance these goals without strong western support. But anything seen by Afghans to be tied to the outsiders is doomed. It becomes a target of contempt, and often bombs.

The image of old men shovelling rain off the roads sets up a grim picture of frustration, especially for Afghans she meets who honestly want to make their country work.

Here's how we introduced Shovelling The Rain Away on June 1, 2009:

When we first started reporting from Afghanistan on this program seven years ago, there was a heady sense of optimism among civilians and soldiers. The Americans had just declared that "the Taliban controls no territory within Afghanistan."

There was a sense that good things were possible in a country that had endured years of bad ones. We know now it hasn't worked out that way. Even with a second democratic election approaching in August, the Taliban insurgency is alive and well, and the country is still a military campaign-in-progress.

By most barometers, Afghanistan is a country under great pressure, as Dispatches contributor Naheed Mustafa witnessed after a Kabul rainstorm.

Listen to Shovelling The Rain Away

An earlier Dispatches piece by Naheed was a finalist for a Canadian Association of Journalists Award for 2008. You can find Afghanistan's Left Behinds in our Award Winners section of Highlights -- to the right.

Gold again

At the same awards ceremony, frequent Dispatches contributor Megan Williams also won a gold medal, for an hour-long documentary she produced for CBC's Ideas. Message In A Bottle was built on a piece she had earlier made for Dispatches.

In Message In A Bottle, Megan tells us about composers Victor Ullmann and Gideon Klein, who died in the Holocaust; their struggle to create under the most horrific conditions; and of a group of modern-day scholars and musicians dedicated to reviving their long-silenced music.

Listen to the Ideas production of Message In A Bottle

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