Shahpoor Saber | Institute for War and Peace Reporting
I was born in the village of Seyawoshan, Gozara District, in Herat province in 1979, and grew up in a cultured family. I now live in Herat city.
My father graduated from the military academy and in his last position, was commander of Herat airport until he resigned in 1988.
I entered the journalism faculty of Herat University in 2001 and began my journalism career while a student working on an independent newspaper. During my first year at university, I also worked with the Sada-e Jawan radio station which belonged to the university. All this work was unpaid but because I was very hard-working, the university chancellor's office decided to pay me a stipend of 80 US dollars monthly. I also worked with independent weekly Isar.
After obtaining my diploma from the university, I started working with a Danish aid agency, DACAAR, as the social officer and stayed for six months. I left because journalism was my first love, even though DACAAR tried its best to keep me.
A newly established radio station, Radio Faryad, offered me the position of head of political and news section. I then joined the English section of Al Jazeera TV, where I still work, but I still produce political debate programmes and news bulletins for the radio station. I have also been working for IWPR for a year.
During the Taleban regime and before entering university, I worked for the municipality of Herat in the departments of commerce, archives and personnel for three years.
Although I have done a range of different jobs, it is journalism that attracts me most.
I have also taken part in IWPR training workshops, which have taught me as much as university classes. Thanks to IWPR, I have learned a vast amount about different kinds of news and reporting, including investigative and feature work. It is no exaggeration to say IWPR has taught me all I know.
I have produced a number of exclusive stories for IWPR, including a full-length interview with Gholam Yahya Akbari, a man wanted by the Afghan and foreign forces for many years. Another important report was my piece on the anti-election propaganda of the Taleban; for this, I spent a lot of time with the Taleban, watching their every step. And when coalition forces raided Bakwah district in Farah province, killing 150 Afghan civilians, again I was the only one on the scene.
For me, a journalist has to be faithful, honest, impartial, and independent and has to care about the accuracy of his reports. Although speed is important, I believe that a journalist should not sacrifice accuracy for speed.