We are thrilled to announce that Ariana Abawe has been appointed our cultural lead for Afghanistan and we can hardly think of a more qualified person for the role. As a talented journalist and entrepreneur, Ariana uses her talent to create a platform that promotes pride in her Afghan heritage.
Ariana was born in Afghanistan, but moved to the UK as a young child with her family. Despite this, she feels a strong connection to the unique beauty of her birth country and its culture. In 2020, she graduated from Brunel University in London with a first class degree in journalism. Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, she launched Ariana, a publication dedicated to sharing Afghanistan’s rich cultural heritage.
The magazine’s name alludes not only to its charismatic founder, but also to an ancient name for the region she hails from. Ancient Greek records used the name Ariana when referencing its land area. Of old, Ariana comprised Afghanistan, Iran and portions of Pakistan and Turkey.
Ariana magazine was created for sharing the history and culture of Afghanistan as well as showcasing its athletes, artists, photographers, authors, musicians and entrepreneurs. Published in English, this one of a kind magazine provides an alternative to the negative portrayal of Afghanistan in mainstream media, especially in recent years.
So far, Ariana has produced eleven magazine issues featuring Afghan celebrities such as singer/songwriter Aryana Sayeed, singer Jawid Sharif, female footballer Nadia Nadim, actor and martial artist Abbas Alizada, folk singer Sharafat Parwani, Afghan rapper Sonita Alizadeh, actress Azita Ghanizada as well as community heroes such as educator Pashtana Durrani. It also shows off the everyday features, gorgeous art and stylish fashion of Afghan people.
Although the publication is only two years old, it has already won its vibrant and energetic founder widespread recognition for her role in community building. Ariana Abawe has been featured on the BBC, Voice of America and in the British library. In 2022, she won the Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the West London Business Awards and the Outstanding Young Person of the Year award by Harrow's Heroes.
All of these make Ariana an inspiring role model and worthy representative of the Afghan community in the UK. We are really proud to welcome her aboard as cultural ambassador.