Is TV censorship in Kabul really a sign of ‘re-Talibanization’?
KABUL — On a side street in downtown Kabul, behind the inevitable concrete barriers, bomb-resistant walls, heavy steel gates and barbed-wire spools, are two modest-sized houses, indistinguishable from neighbouring abodes except for one or two extra layers of security and a surprising number of people coming in and out.
That, and the sound of laughter that blasts from a TV mixing console inside this homegrown broadcast centre.
On the screen is an episode of the unlikely hit Laugh Bazaar, which has introduced stand-up comedy to Afghanistan. This shoestring broadcast empire created by Afghan entrepreneurs also includes Afghan Star, a vastly successful take on American Idol, and a number of very good investigative-news shows.