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Sunday 21 December  
Zohre Esmaeli

The State We're In - Out of the Ordinary

On air: 29 September 2012 2:00 (Photo: Zohre Esmaeli)

More about:

The State We're In, 29 September 2012. A woman escapes the Taliban and constraints of her own family to become a fashion model. A boy escapes Kabul and now creates landmine detectors. And a romance writer who doesn’t care what the world thinks of her, and her 400 million books.

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Listen to 'Out of the Ordinary'

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Zohre Esmaeli
Zohre Esmaeli
From Kabul to catwalk - listen in new player

Zohre Esmaeli is an unlikely fashion model. When she was 13, she and her family escaped Taliban rule in Afghanistan and eventually wound up in Germany. Zohre tells host Jonathan Groubert what it was like spending months on the run.

After settling in Germany, Zohre had to escape again, but this time from her own family. She tells Jonathan how she finally found the road to success – on her terms. View photos.

Zohre supports and co-organizes events for Afghanistan: help that really gets there and Women for Women.

Massoud Hassani
Massoud Hassani
Blown away - listen in new player

Growing up in Kabul, Massoud Hassani’s playground was in a war zone filled with old landmines.

So his mother hired human smugglers to take him to Europe, where he’s created a new life for himself - and a new device: Mine Kafon - a wind-powered bamboo and plastic sphere that can clear landmines.

Video: Jonathan went to meet Massoud in his workshop and see Mine Kafon for himself. 

Nora Roberts
Nora Roberts
Romance isn't dead - listen in new player

Nora Roberts is one of the world's bestselling authors, with over 400 million romance novels in print.

Her secret may be that she is used to doing things her own way: she lives in the middle of nowhere and she couldn't care less what the world thinks of her.

  • Zohre Esmaeli, 13 years old<br>&copy; Zohre Esmaeli -
  • Zohre Esmaeli<br>&copy; Zohre Esmaeli -
  • Zohre Esmaeli<br>&copy; Zohre Esmaeli -
  • Zohre Esmaeli<br>&copy; Zohre Esmaeli -


heathkinfe 10 December 2014 - 8:02am

Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a bit, but other than that, this is great blog. A great read. Agen Sbobet

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Julie Banks 11 October 2012 - 6:27am / USA

Wednesday evenings at 9 has become a special time for restoring my faith in humanity. I have looked forward all week to this hour of heart warming, intriguing stories. Many times I have gone to Google to learn more about the people whose stories have had me riveted. Please keep TSWI alive! In a society that celebrates polarization between people and finding new ways to demonize the "other", you deliver a breath of fresh air every week, bringing us together, invisibly, from all over the earth. You keep finding ways for us to realize we are all connected. Thank you for this service and KEEP DOING IT! Your show feeds our souls.

Ben A 10 October 2012 - 3:16am / United States

I just received your sad news and request to contribute my thoughts. Predominantly, NO!! You cannot end your show. For me, I have just within the last two years become a very regular listener, and now, cannot accept your show to end. Actually, I am demanding more shows to come. As an American, it is one of the few sources of universal sentiments, emotions, and viewpoints readily available to me. I am pretty intelligent, have two bachelor’s degrees, and am always in search of knowledge. However, I learn more about the world, myself, and my place in it listening to your show than I have found or expect to find anywhere else in my life. If it’s money you need, ask us, the listeners, for direct contributions. I, and I’m sure many others like me, would be very happy to make sufficient donations to keep from losing this great show. Thanks for asking. And listening. The show must go on.

Anonymous 8 October 2012 - 10:32am / Australia

I have only started listening to your show a few weeks ago and thought I have hit a jackpot. Your stories are so interesting. I love to listen. I love people, love the world and I go 5 days a week to a boring office job, this radio shows gives me an insight of what is going on the world and what people are really like. I feel I have so much in common with them. I hope it will continue some way and I hope I will know about it if it does. Thank you for sharing those beautiful profound stories.

Anonymous 3 October 2012 - 3:18am / Australia

Truly devasted to hear that you will be off the air. I used to listen via ABC's Newsradio and only recently started with your podcasts - they are so enthralling. Hopefully someone will see sense.

Anonymous 2 October 2012 - 12:24am / Canada

How sad is that when a journalist start Pashto music tones before the interview of Zohre Esmaili, and then in the interview that Dari speaking girl says about Taliban that they spoke the language that she did not understand. for your information the language of Taliban is Pashto. Now if the interviewee has nothing to do with that pashto music tones then why paly it before the interview. That's an example of western ignorance about the east.

Shari M 1 October 2012 - 6:07pm / USA

I am truly going to miss your wonderful show and hope that you find another sponsor. Thanks for all the great interviews, Jonathan, and good luck!

Carolyn LaDelle Bennett 30 September 2012 - 5:25pm / United States

“The State We’re In” is such a great set of subjects and interviews and issues for contemporary times, essential to our times. Why on earth would the powers at RNW cut such an insightful, well-conceived, well-prepared and well-performed program?

Jonathan Groubert, I appreciate your interview style in this program I have enjoyed so very much. Succes (Good luck) to friends I’ve never met but feel I have known.

RNW’s planned October axing of TSWI saddens me a great deal but I hope you emerge in other places, on other programs, pushing us to ponder this important question: “What’s ‘The State We’re In.’” Carolyn L. Bennett, author of No Land an Island No People Apart; blog

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