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Positive Reviews for An Everyday Story of Afghan Folk

Following on from the first season of ‘An Everyday Story of Afghan Folk,’ the radio drama was given positive reviews by critics. The drama is based on PACT Radio’s original Pashto radio drama, The Pulay Poray. You can read some of the reviews below:

“PACT Radio broadcasts across Pashtun speaking parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan, and this five-part series is based on its regular soap opera…It’s a drama that provides an eye-opening perspective on a war-torn area. Listen out for Meera Syal in a cameo role later in the week.”

The Daily Mail group  

“A daily soap that gives a slice of village life sounds familiar, doesn’t it? But this isn’t The Archers — Brian is not troubled by revenge killings on his land, nor Lynda worried that her bed is on a south-facing wall in summer.

As well as these examples of high and low drama this adaptation of PACT Radio’s daily soap, made by and for the Pashtun people of the Afghan-Pakistani border region, also explores the conflict between religion and tribal law. At times the heavy-handed exposition detracts from the drama, but there are enough interesting storylines — from murder and dogfights to arguments over lost bracelets and the troubles of young love — to make this an eye-opening take on the reality of life in this part of the world.”

Radio Times review by David Crawford–series-1—episode-1

“Personally, I am suffering withdrawal symptoms from the wonderful An Everyday Story of Afghan Folk, cruelly cut short after one week on Radio 4 Extra. The only real difference between this and any other soap is that, in Afghanistan, when anyone needs a cup of tea, crucial in any crisis, the poor, pretty, pregnant heroine has to go to the well for water. By the time she gets back, life has moved on.”
Radio Review: A Month in Ambridge by Nancy Banks-Smith

“Now Butt has set up his own radio company, PACT Radio, with its own soap, Da Pulay Poray (or in English Across the Border). Its mission is not so much education as conflict resolution. The station reports on what’s happening not through the voices of politicians and militant leaders but in the stories of ordinary farmers, wives, daughters and market sellers. Da Pulay Poray uses their experiences as plot material, creating storylines about giving more rights to women and better conditions for poor farmers, or adapting the all-powerful tribal codes of honour. Next week an English version of the soap, An Everyday Story of Afghan Folk, can be heard on Radio 4, every day at 10.45 a.m. (repeated at 7.45 p.m.). The list of characters will be familiar to anyone who follows the antics of the Archers of Ambridge: rich, greedy farmers versus poor, oppressed tenants, young lovers against their parents, quarrelling women and feckless sons. The sense of Borsetshire being isolated, cut off, detached from anywhere else is convincingly repeated. Thereafter the connection between the two soaps ends. Life is harsher, bloodier, more violent in Pashtun country. Mewa Gul and his wife Bakhtawara (played by Meera Syal) sleep with their goats and cow. There’s not enough money for sugar. If you want another cup of tea, you must first collect water from the well. When darkness falls it is pitch black. The silence goes deep, broken only by an owl hooting, the barking of a rabid dog.
Review by Kate Chisholm, The Spectator. Read the full review:

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