Guest blog by Ariana Abawe (Journalist and Founder of Ariana Magazine)

Salam and Hi to everyone! I am Ariana Abawe, a British-Afghan journalist deeply connected to Afghanistan. My journey began when I arrived in the UK in 2000, just turning one year old. Originally from Kabul, Afghanistan, my life’s mission is dedicated to amplifying the voices of the voiceless, shedding light on the vibrant Afghan community, and showcasing its rich culture to the world.

My commitment to journalism led me to pursue a degree at Brunel University of London, where I studied journalism and graduated with a First-Class degree in 2020. This academic foundation has been instrumental in shaping my ability to tell compelling stories and bring attention to important issues. Just a month after graduating, I founded Ariana Magazine. Ariana Magazine, honoured as the Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2022 by West London Business Awards and Outstanding Young Person of the Year in 2022 by Harrow Heroes, stands as a testament to my commitment.

As a British-Afghan journalist, my primary mission is to challenge the prevailing negative narrative surrounding Afghanistan in the media. I strive to emphasise its positive aspects— its rich heritage, the talent within its borders, and the meaningful connections non-Afghans have forged with Afghanistan, whilst raising awareness about the human rights abuses faced by women and girls in the country and the urgent humanitarian aid assistance needed.

The choice of the name ‘Ariana’ for my magazine represents the ancient name of Afghanistan, dating back over 5,000 years. Ariana Magazine goes beyond the confines of a traditional magazine; it serves as a dynamic platform, a vibrant community, and a space where both the challenges and the beauty of Afghanistan can find their voice. Additionally, I am actively involved in various charitable initiatives aimed at providing support to my homeland.

Within the pages of Ariana Magazine, you’ll find compelling stories of Afghan artists, athletes, actors, entrepreneurs and much more, showcasing the multifaceted talent within the global Afghan community. It’s a celebration of diversity, resilience, and creativity that transcends the often-dominant narrative of conflict.

Beyond the magazine, my involvement extends to speaking engagements at universities like Brunel and Middlesex, as well as notable events such as the Young People and Communities Conference at City Hall, hosted by the Mayor of London. Through these engagements, I offer insights into various subjects. But my impact doesn’t stop there. I actively promote Afghan culture through events like Eid in the Square and the World Halal Food Festival.

Let us acknowledge Afghanistan not solely as a land marked by conflict but as a home with a resilient community, a rich heritage, and individuals like those featured in Ariana Magazine, who continue to inspire and uplift even in the face of adversity.

Follow Ariana Magazine: Website | Instagram

Image credits:
Image 1 (Ariana holding Ariana Magazine): Biographce by Jac
Image 3 (Ariana with the Afghan flag): Picture Perfect Frames
Image 4 (Fashion show) : A&B Films
Image 5 (Attan dance) : Elainy Kelly