In late 2015, the Kabul-based Afghanistan Economic and Legal Studies Organization (AELSO) debuted its online TV and radio platform, Silk Road Station, with the goal of raising awareness about the benefits of a free-market economy and other free society values among Afghan youth and policy makers. It currently broadcasts 39 different programs. "[The Silk Road Station] focuses on displaying the compatibility of the religion of Islam with free society values, and [improving] the knowledge of our listeners regarding libertarian ideas,” explained AELSO General Director Mohammad Khalid Ramizy.
With its programs being broadcasted in English, Pashto, and Dari, AELSO wants its message of freedom to be available to everyone including students, business groups, community leaders, and policy makers. The platform is easy to access via Apple and Google Play. At least 1,000 viewers from around the world tune in to the different programs every day, and the site reached more than 250,000 users in 2017 alone.
AELSO volunteer Najibullah Mehdi was raised by his communist father to “accept the state as the ultimate authority in all aspects of his life.” But through a friend’s recommendation, Najibullah joined an AELSO volunteer group where he was exposed for the first time to a political ideology other than communism. “[This experience compelled me to] establish a young volunteer group for spreading libertarian ideas in Afghanistan,” said Najibullah.
He founded The White Assembly, which works in 19 Afghanistan cities promoting liberty and human rights. “The White Assembly is involved with the running of different awareness campaigns, advocacy, research, and organizing conferences and capacity building programs,” continued Najibullah.
Mrs. Fahima, a well-known Afghan female scholar, with AELSO program presenter Mr. Ahmad Seyar.
“Our Afghan libertarian friends are bold, courageous, intelligent, and diplomatic in promoting the values and the ideas of liberty in their country,” said Dr. Tom G. Palmer, Atlas Network’s executive vice president for international programs. “I've worked with the Afghanistan Economic & Legal Studies Organization for years, and was impressed from the very start by its integrity and moral strength. Its latest venture, Silk Road Radio, brings hope, knowledge, and freedom to the Afghan people in several languages. Khalid and his team inspire me. It is an honor to work with them.”