Radio and Television Producer and Reporter for the Afghan Media Resource Center
Hijri Unknown-Present (AH); Common Era Unknown-Present (CE)
Born and educated in Afghanistan, Sharifa Akhlas now works in exile as a radio and television producer and reporter for the Afghan Media Resource Center (AMRC), headquartered in Peshawar, Pakistan. In 1999, Akhlas won the International Women's Media Foundation Courage in Journalism Award. In the early 1990s, Akhlas, witnessing the status of women deteriorating because of hostilities in Afghanistan, began writing stories on human rights issues. When the Taliban began instituting bans on working women in Afghanistan, Akhlas continued to work but in secret for the AMRC. She elected to work with AMRC to ensure that her writings on humans rights would reach an international audience. To avoid discovery by the Taliban, Akhlas and her family were forced to move frequently. Nonetheless, her reporting was discovered more than once, most recently in 1998 and she was subsequently arrested and beaten. Her family was also effected--her husband and father both had to promise to keep her quiet or face the same treatment themselves. Although she escaped to Pakistan with her family, she still moves around to avoid detection. In her current work with the AMRC, Akhlas travels back into Afghanistan, to interview women and bring news to the international community. Despite being captured and arrested by the Taliban again in 2001, Akhlas returned to Pakistan where she continues to work.