Class Notes 11/5

  • First run off since 1999. Do research to include factual information like this in the news story. Consider yourself a news writer, not an opinion writer.

Bacha Bazi

  • Afghanistan- young boys sold by their families are sold to soldiers and wealthy people to dance, entertain and are used for sex.
  • (what methods are the journalists using to discover this story?)
  • It’s a form of slavery
  • A journalist went undercover, realizing he had to be inside the action to expose it
  • “Dancing Boys of Afghanistan”- title of the piece
  • Journalist: Afghan journalist who has been living in exile, almost beaten to death when he was investigating a massacre.
  • The boys are street orphans, and after their performance they will bid and whoever is the highest bidder will participate in sexual activity with the boys.
  • He arranged a meeting with a man who participated in bacha bazi, he needed to get inside the organization to be able to expose it.
    • He’s a very successful businessman, leads a double life. He invited the journalist to meet one of the dancing boys, he was able to see a bacha bazi take place.
  • After a man was asked how many boys he had, he answered: it’s unlimited, 2,000 or 3,000. “I just like watching them dance.” You could obviously tell he was lying when he denied having sex with the boys.
  • Bacha Bazi comes from Pakistan
  • “How long have you been doing bacha bazi?” “about 20 years, what can I say, there is money and power. “
  • Dastager has police security guards for protection.
  • He lives in a wealthy neighborhood, is married, and has 2 young sons.
  • He promises the boys family money and tells them that he will train them. They need to be 12 or 13 and have to be good looking.
  • They are protecting the identity of the 11 year old kid, for reasons later revealed.
  • The kid had absolutely no idea what he was getting into, had never met Dastager in his life.
  • “I had a boy because every other commander had one.”
  • “In Afghanistan, men don’t listen to their wives.”
  • Many miles away he was able to track down “The German”
  • The German acts as a bacha bazi pimp, supplying boys to wealthy businessmen.
  • The 11 year old boy is given lessons in singing and dancing
  • Bacha bazi is taboo in Afghanistan- another method is interviewing sources in other fields
  • Another method- conducting direct interviews with the victims- very tense with the owners sitting in the same room right next to them.
  • The journalist also spent time talking with expert sources in the unicef community and spent time with the local authority as well, it’s not just a one sided story.
  • The boys know that if they do not go with the men or do not please them it is very dangerous for them. Some boys are terrified by that and some seem completely unfazed by it all.
  • Another journalist method- addressing the camera directly and leading the audience.
  • He had seen a popular dancer a year before and tried to find him but was told that he had been murdered.
  • “They terrified him, and warned him. They were planning on doing terrible things to him”
  • The victim becomes the perpetrator, it’s the only life he knows.

We are able to take the cloth off, buy a plane ticket and leave afghanistan. The women there do not have that opportunity.


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