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Posted on: 19-10-2017
Habib-ur-Rahman Asem 
Born in a middle class family, I had a taste of many of the bitter and sweet moments of childhood, but before turning 11, my father who was a Mavlavi or a teacher of religious studies passed away.
After my father’s demise, the community elders and notables chose me as the caretaker of my seven-member family. 
I, too, inevitably shouldered this heavy responsibility, and started to meditate on how to ensure a bright future for my widowed mother, and little, orphaned brother and sisters. Obsessed by my family’s poor economic condition, I contemplated for a while, and then felt the essence of this profusely religious, humanistic, and noble responsibility. Though I was still a child, my mature viewpoint motivated me to realize my unconscious dreams, and strive to chase my lofty desires. 
However, the ongoing imposed war in the country rendered my achievable dreams impossible, and therefore I failed in the quest of my hopes as I could not complete my secondary and tertiary education. Despite all of these disappointing occurrences, I did not give up. I rolled up my sleeves to earn a licit living for my family, and decided to provide opportunity for my only young brother and sisters to acquire education. I did so. I sweated blood to provide every kind of opportunity and facility for them to achieve their yearning, and did not let them feed their mind with negative thoughts. Although I failed to fulfill my own dreams for education, I satisfied some of my great hopes as necessary with the help of God. 
After accomplishing many of my hopes, I started serving as a project assistant with a foreign non-governmental organization (NGO), an experience that familiarized me with the social practices, day-to-day conduct, etc. of people from various backgrounds. 
In addition to being sympathetic, the project manager was a creative person. One night, I decided to sit with him and learn from his experience. 
=485; Dear manager, can you please tell me about your education? 
=485; Sure, I have completed my secondary education in the country, but I have been to Russia and China for pursuing higher education and practical work. 
The project manager talked about his education and successful career in detail, and pointed to something very interesting about China. He suggested that I should visit China once if I wanted to experience a major positive change in my life. He said if the control of the whole world was handed over to China, he was sure its people would bring an innovative revolution in the world. One of the best personality traits of success of Chinese people was that they can do huge things in a very short time span, he said, adding that he also started to embrace that habit as he returned back to the country. 
Having heard the story, my heart was suddenly filled with love for China, and my passion became so extreme that I was always discussing the positive change in life and creativity of Chinese people with my boss. 
Life was passing by. One day, my job in the Khwaja Ghar district of northern Takhar province finished, and I headed back to Kabul. Soon after returning to Kabul, I found a job at the Independent Election Commission (IEC), where I most often listened to a radio after work hours. One morning when I was searching radio channels, suddenly I heard a pleasant, distinctive voice. I hurriedly set up the channel, and keenly listened to Pashto news pronounced gently and softly. I became impatient, but it was good that a lady said with a distinctive voice:
Dear listeners! 
This is China Radio International (CRI) broadcasting for Afghanistan. 
Having heard the gently pronounced sentences, I once again looked at my shirt’s unclipped buttons, and decided to get more information about this country. Finally, I found and read 7-8 books about China, as well as read some informative online articles. 
My goal of reading about China was to know about the creative activities of Chinese people, and start a business. 
Besides my job, I continued my education. Though I hoped to pursue my higher education in India, the CRI impressed me so much that I even changed my plan, and started thinking about how I can get the opportunity to study higher education in China. I asked a colleague who was managing China scholarships to assist me. He agreed, and a year later, my dream came true, and I began my education in China. While I could not complete my education due to some personal problems, starting businesses in Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif, the provincial capital of northern Balkh province, steered me on the path towards a better life. 
Now, I am businessman, and have a totally different life. I am not alone. Besides having a prosperous life, I have also provided work opportunities for around 100 other families in my surrounding, and the number will increase. 
It was my love; it was China; and China Pashto Radio that changed my life. 
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