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Motherland Afghanistan to Premiere on PBS February 13

One in seven women die in childbirth in Afghanistan, a figure that is all the more tragic when most of the complications are preventable. Afghan filmmaker Sedika Mojadidi explores this dilemma in her documentary Motherland Afghanistan, which will premiere on the Emmy Award-wining PBS series Independent Lens on Tuesday February 13, 2007 at 10 p.m. (check your local listings).

The documentary follows Sedika’s father’s work as an OB/GYN in Afghanistan. In 2003, Dr. Mojadidi was invited by the US Government to help rehabilitate the country’s largest hospital. What the Dr. Mojadidi found was unworkable hospital conditions, with none of the equipment and supplies that were promised to him. After several months, he leaves in frustration. However, two years later, he returns to Afghanistan to work with Shuhada, an Afghan-led non-governmental organization that runs hospitals. It is here that Dr. Mojadidi stays to try and pass on his knowledge to the over-worked and under-trained doctors, in order to help the hundreds of women who have traveled days to see him.

“Filming in Rabia Balkhi was difficult,” Sedika said, “but also a life-changing opportunity. I was forced to see a small section of daily life in Kabul for Afghan women in a very intimate way. I had the chance to listen to so many tragic stories and to get a sense of how much these women had survived. I definitely did not see them as victims. Rather, I saw tough, tenacious and industrious women who were struggling to keep themselves and their children alive.”

Click HERE to read more about Motherland Afghanistan


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