Samreen Ghauri


Samreen Ghauri is a visiting journalist from Pakistan. She works primarily in radio journalism, producing and reporting special features for the NBS current affairs channel of Radio Pakistan. She received her masters degree in mass communications from the University of Sindh,

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Samreen Ghauri is a Pakistani journalist visiting the U.S. on a fellowship under the U.S.-Pakistan Professional Partnership in Journalism. The program is run by the International Center for Journalists in Washington D.C. and is funded by the U.S. State Department. Here’s Samreen’s thoughts on U.S. politics this election season.

Attending a Texas House of Representatives committee meeting and a press conference with Governor Rick Perry in one day – all against the ongoing backdrop of the U.S. presidential debates – I felt the true democratic, liberal force that makes America a prosperous country and role model to countries around the world. 

Democracy aims for social justice, equal opportunity, and people’s rights of liberty. Citizens’ political ideas, values, and beliefs are important components in democracy everywhere, especially in societies undergoing a democratic transition. This is my impression of the American society I have been observing for the last two weeks. Here in America, in a middle of a presidential campaign, I see politics and the democratic process being debated everywhere.

Tamir Kalifa for KUT

"The people of Austin are overwhelmingly friendly, warm and open to the acceptance of other cultures."  

That's one takeaway from visiting Pakistani  journalist Samreen Ghauri, who attended the Austin City Limits Music Festival this weekend. Below, read Samreen’s thoughts about ACL, Austin’s role as the “Live Music Capital,” and how music can help bridge cultural divides.

The annual Austin City Limits Music Festival actually has no limits. No limits to the fun, music, and food, but more importantly, no limit to the company of loved ones. The festival truly depicts the American way of life: enjoying life with a full sprit and enthusiasm.

I easily connected with the festival, because in Pakistan we have similar events. I belong to a traditional eastern society that has a rich cultural and musical heritage. In our society, music is a large part of daily life: at religious occasions, social events and cultural gatherings, music is always on.

Samreen Ghauri is a visiting journalist from Pakistan. KUT News asked Samreen to share her thoughts on the Taliban’s attack on a young Pakistani girl who was fighting to educate girls in her region.

The Taliban’s attack on 15-year-old Malala Yusuf Zia is symbolic of the battle between liberal, democratic forces and religious fundamentalism in Pakistan. Pakistani civil society – common people, liberal and bright-minded – stand together and strongly condemn this barbaric crime. 

NPR reports that the Pakistani Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack against Malala. NPR writes:

Pakistan's Dawn newspaper says it has been told by a spokesman for the Taliban that the girl was targeted for spreading "anti-Taliban and 'secular' thoughts among the youth of the area." Malala, Dawn says, was "hit by couple of bullets to her neck and head." While hospitalized, she is said to be "out of danger." She may, though, need to be sent overseas for treatment.

The Taliban reportedly say they'll target her again.

Kelly Connelly for KUT News

Samreen Ghauri is a visiting journalist from Pakistan. She works primarily in radio journalism, producing and reporting special features for the  NBS current affairs channel of Radio Pakistan, which covers 80 percent of the geographic area of Pakistan. She received her masters degree in mass communications from the University of Sindh, and has achieved numerous certificates on additional topics including gender, women’s empowerment, media, reproductive and sexual health rights, human rights and political education. She is visiting KUT as part of a program sponsored by the International Center for Journalists.

"In 2010, studying in the city of Manila in the Philippines, I discovered radio as the most effective tool of communication in the South Asia region," Ghauri says. "I developed materials for various organizations to communicate their advocacy issues using electronic and social media but primarily radio, which can reach the most people of all."

In my short time here, I’ve found Austin is a fantastic place to live and work. People are so nice and kind. I was excited when I learned that Austin is also known as the Live Music Capital of the World. Music is also a core part of our culture. Whether it is a social occasion, religious Sufi gathering, or piece of family folklore, music always comes up to help express peoples’ sentiments. Pakistan also has a rich heritage of performing arts; the music of Pakistan includes diverse elements featuring multiple cultural influences and strong folk culture.