Mohammad Ilyas Dayee | Institute for War and Peace Reporting


Mohammad Ilyas Dayee

Mohammad Ilyas Dayee
IWPR-trained journalist

I was born on January 4, 1988, in the Nad Ali district of Helmand province in Afghanistan. My father worked for the government for about 45 years. My family were educated and some members went to Russia for their higher education.

Our life is good at the moment and we live well but it was not always like that. My father faced many economic problems in the past. We have also worked as farmers, but we were always keen to study. We saw education as more important than anything else. As a family we always followed the news.

As a student I loved taking part in cultural activities like poetry readings and also played sport; I love volleyball and have played with many teams.

Before starting work at IWPR, I was a reporter at regional radio station Salam Watandar in Kabul. Around that time, security worsened in Helmand and there were problems in our villages, but no one reported on them.

One of the issues was that of the dowry, which led some young men to go and work abroad for many years.

Another problem was addiction to narcotics of thousands of young Afghans. I worked on reports that helped inform people about the dangers of opium in the hope that they would stop growing the poppy.

I chose journalism because I wanted to serve the community and because I regard it as a very important job. I was keen to be the one who had the courage to ask officials about the problems afflicting the people around me.

My work for IWPR has been satisfying and I have learned a lot from my involvement with press and media outlets.

Besides writing, I have also been trained in photography and self defence. I have written many major reports and it gives me satisfaction that these are important issues in the life of Helmand. People admired me for researching a piece about efforts to divert farmers from opium poppy to pomegranates, and said they would be very happy if the government and international community would give them trees for their orchards.

Now, the government in Helmand is going to create orchards covering 1,000 acres for the farmers in Helmand as well as giving them fertilisers. This was my best report and I remain proud of it.

I would not be where I am without IWPR. My IWPR reports have been admired by my colleagues and those who have access to the internet. Reports like this come from the bottom of my heart.

This work makes me feel a responsible member of society and I hope I repay people’s trust in me. If my work helps keep a government in check, that is a bonus and I am happy to play the role of a conduit between the government and the people.

Stories by the author

Afghans load ballot boxes into a helicopter in Jaghatu, Afghanistan. (Photo: US Air Force Staff Sergeant Joseph Swafford/ISAF)
Mohammad Ilyas Dayee
21 Sep 10
While avoiding large-scale violence, province sees low turnout for Afghan parliamentary election.
US soldiers advance on a civilian compound while responding to a Taleban attack in Helmand. When civilian casualties occur during the fighting, local resentment focuses on the foreign troops rather than the insurgents. (Photo: Tech. Sgt. Efren Lopez/US military)
Mohammad Ilyas Dayee
19 Aug 10
Reported air attack that killed 52 people may prove powerful recruiting tool for insurgents, despite NATO denials of responsibility.
The Taleban want to deter Helmand civilians from cooperating with international forces like these US Marines, but the murder of an eight-year old has directed local ire against their own ruthless practices. (Photo: US military/First Lieutenant Kurt Stahl)
Mohammad Ilyas Dayee
19 Jun 10
Lynching of eight-year-old in Helmand universally condemned, may turn tide of opinion against Taleban.
An Afghan National Army soldier on patrol in a residential area of Marja. (Photo: Regimental Combat Team-7, 1st Marine Division Public Affairs/Staff Sgt. Luis Agostini)
Mohammad Ilyas Dayee
20 May 10
Caught between government and Taleban forces, locals say their only choice is to seek refuge elsewhere.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, holds a shura with Afghan leaders in Marja, Afghanistan. Source: ISAF Media
Mohammad Ilyas Dayee
15 Apr 10
Operation to tackle rebels goes on but locals wait for promised reconstruction. By Mohammad Ilyas Dayee in Helmand
Mohammad Ilyas Dayee
21 Nov 07
Helmand’s farmers are chopping down their pomegranate trees for the more lucrative opium plants, while blaming the government for failing to help them.