The 26-year-old award-winning Mukhtar Wafayee is an investigative journalist and poet from Afghanistan. His journalistic work has focused on security, politics and governance, and he has worked for a range of media houses. Among them, he has served as Editor-in-Chief of Howayda news agency, Investigative Reporter and Analyst for Daily Open Society (2014-present), investigative reporter for 8AM Daily, and presenter for Mehr TV.
After a few weeks in Malmö he has started feeling safe:
- Safety, serenity and hopes for a better future were the first feelings I got when I arrived in Malmö. Malmö is a small city but full of cultural diversity and ordinary, friendly people, says Mukhtar Wafayee.
Mukhtar Wafayee has won several awards, among them, the organisation Nai’s Bravest Journalist of the Year following a public vote in 2014. He was also awarded the Afghan Journalists Centre’s (AFJC) The Journalist of the Year Award in 2017.
- I believe in investigative journalism as an important and powerful tool in the struggle against devastating forces in our society. Becoming a journalist was a way for me to fight despotism, corruption, terrorism and human rights violations, says Wafayee.
Wafayee has published a non-fiction book recounting the history of Sholgara district in the Balkh province, Dar-e-Gaze Bastan (2015). His poetry has been included in the collection Qand-e Parsi after submitting his work to the 6th International Qand-e Parsi Festival run by the Afghan Literature House. Wafayee’s investigative report detailing an alleged attack in Mazar-e-Shariff carried out by the Taliban, was published in a special edition of the Open Society Newspaper in August 2014.
- After all the obstacles, i am finally able to see possibilities for us. We will take this opportunity to create a better future. I will never forget my love and commitment to investigative journalism, and I will never stop fighting for human rights, says Wafayee.
Mukhtar Wafayee came to Malmö together with his wife, Nilofar Langar. She is also a journalist and a poet, with a background in Persian and literature from the University of Balkh. She has lectured in Persian literature at both private and state university. Langar has worked as a journalist for several media outlets in Afghanistan. During 2016, she worked as a reporter at Tolo News and was appointed spokesman for the Afghan Ministry for Urban Development and Housing. Among her merits is also a collection of poems published by PEN Afghanistan.