Former princess and life-long humanitarian Hindia d'Afghanistan has been named Radio Azadi’s
“Person of the Year” in Afghanistan. The 83-year old daughter of Afghanistan’s King Amanullah has devoted the last ten years of her life -- and most of her family’s wealth -- to rebuilding her country after decades of war and destruction.
“Before making the final decision we consulted several civic groups in Kabul, which praised Princess Hindia and her work,” says Radio Azadi Director Hashem Mohmand
. “She supports the weak in Afghanistan and we wanted to honor her for her dedication to help her country.”
The reign of King Amanullah was marked by liberal reforms until he was deposed in 1929 and exiled to British India, where Princess Hindia was born. Banned from returning to her homeland, she spent most of her life in Italy, returning to Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban in 2001. When Princess Hindia was finally able to return to her homeland, she celebrated by donating the Monarch’s property and estate in eastern Afghanistan to the Afghan people.
Over the last decade, she has worked to increase awareness of the human rights situation in Afghanistan throughout Europe, raising funds for development projects targeted at education, homeless and orphaned children, and victims’ centers for abused women. In 2006, Princess Hindia was named Cultural Ambassador of Afghanistan to Europe by Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
Radio Azadi’s annual “Person of the Year” award recognizes outstanding individual contributions to democracy and civil society in Afghanistan. Previous winners include Afghan musician and UN Goodwill Ambassador Farhad Darya
, lawmaker Ramzan Bashardost
, physician and human rights activist Anarkali Honaryar
and the governor of Nangarhar province, Gul Agha Sherzai.