Ehsanollah Bayat Selected As Radio Azadi's Nowruz Man Of The Year; Recognizes Exceptional Individual Contributions To Peace, Democracy And Culture In Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan, March 26, 2014 /CNW/ - Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty's Afghan Service, Radio Azadi, selected dedicated philanthropist, Afghan Wireless Communication Company (AWCC) Founder, and Ariana Television & Radio Network (ATN) Chief Executive Officer, Ehsanollah Bayat as its Man of the Year on 19 March 2014. The award recognizes Mr. Bayat's twelve years of committed efforts to connect Afghans across the nation and the world through mobile telephony, broadband services, and balanced radio & television programming, as well as, his significant humanitarian contributions made by the non-profit Bayat Foundation.

Upon learning of his selection, Mr. Ehsan Bayat remarked: "I am honored to have been chosen as Man of the Year by Radio Azadi, a wonderful organization noted for its objective and insightful understanding of Afghanistan's culture and community. I have been fortunate to been able to participate in the development of a new and modern Afghanistan over the past twelve years and, through the Bayat Foundation, AWCC, and ATN, I have attempted to enable Afghans – regardless of location or language – to learn about the issues facing the nation and discuss challenges, develop solutions, and celebrate successes together in an Afghan-centric fashion."

Mr. Bayat continued: "Nowruz is a time for visiting friends and relatives, feasting, exchanging gifts, and offering well-wishes to others. This act of connecting with one another is the central focus of the legacy and vision of my endeavors to date and I believe that services such as mobile telephony, internet, and balanced media help to open dialogue and debate among all Afghans to further support a unified Afghanistan's growth and prosperity. We have overcome so many challenges throughout our country's history, and we have seen the ability of Afghan citizens from all part of our nation to unite, rebuild, strengthen, and move our nation forward. Thus, it is my privilege to humbly accept Radio Azadi's recognition this year."

The "Person of the Year" award is selected and presented by Radio Azadi annually on the occasion of Nowruz, the Persian New Year, and recognizes exceptional individual contributions to peace, democracy and culture in Afghanistan. Mr. Bayat was chosen by a committee of Radio Azadi journalists from among a number of other individuals nominated and proposed by civil society groups and listeners.

Previous winners of the award include Ahmad Sarmast, director and founder of the Afghanistan National Institute of Music; former princess Hindia d'Afghanistan; 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.

About Ariana Television and Radio Network

Founded by Mr. Ehsanollah Bayat in 2005, Ariana Television and Radio (ATN) are the largest private media channels in Afghanistan, covering 33 of 34 provinces and reaching over 25,000,000 Afghans. ATN is also available via satellite to Dari and Pashto speaking viewers throughout Europe, Asia, Middle East, and North America. Focusing on information, content and entertainment, ATN programming places particular emphasis on education, health, children's programming, women's and world issues, and the ATN team takes great pride in broadcasting accurate, unbiased news to the audience as events occur.

ATN's goal since launch has been one of inclusion and education, providing a "Window for a Better Tomorrow". With a broadcast complement of two national television and two national radio channels (ATN and ATN News), our goal is to expose our radio and television audiences to the best of international arts & culture from around the world, while also expanding opportunities for local writers, producers, actors, and directors within Afghan communities. Programs can be accessed via the ATN website, www.arianatelevision.com or via the HotBird and GlobeCast satellites.

About Afghan Wireless

Founded by Ehsanollah Bayat and headquartered in Kabul, Afghan Wireless (AWCC) – a joint venture between Telephone Systems International, Inc. (TSI) and the Ministry of Communications serving over 4,000,000 subscribers throughout Afghanistan. Employing over 5,500 people directly and another 100,000 indirectly, Afghan Wireless is one of the largest employers in all of Afghanistan, and is a leader in delivering wireless and broadband communication solutions to residential and business customers. Additional information is available at www.afghan-wireless.com.

About the Bayat Foundation

Since 2005, the Bayat Foundation, a 501 c(3) charitable organization, has promoted the well-being of the Afghan people. Founded and directed by Ehsan Bayat and Fatema Bayat, the Foundation has contributed to more than 200 projects dedicated to improving the quality of life for the youth, women, poor, and elderly of Afghanistan. Projects have included the construction of new facilities and sustainable infrastructure in needy regions, and the promotion of health, education, economic, and cultural programs. For more information, please email info@bayatfoundation.org.

CONTACT: Montgomery Simus, m.simus@tsiglobe.com +1 702 809 6772

SOURCE Bayat Foundation

For further information:

http://www.bayatfoundation.org/