Poet, Calligrapher, Performer, Media Host
Celebrating the beauty of Afghan arts
A native of Afghanistan, Yalda Baktash is a recognized poet and calligrapher, with extensive professional experience in audio-visual and print media, including as radio and TV host, writer, and dubber. She lived as a refugee in Iran, where she co-founded and served as a principal instructor in a refugee support organization, Sayeban-e Abi, which offered training programs in literacy, computer, English, journalism, arts, filmmaking, voice training, articulation and dubbing mainly to Afghan refugees living in Tehran and its rural areas.
Yalda has dubbed numerous foreign movies, TV series and documentaries into Dari or Farsi for Persian-based radio and television channels in Afghanistan and Iran. She served as scriptwriter, set designer, and advisor in the production of a TV program called Hezar Rang that aired in Afghanistan. She also served as instructor and technical advisor in the production of audio-visual teaching/learning aids for Afghan school textbooks.
Yalda was the host and instructor in a 52-episode televised calligraphy training program, which has been aired several times by the Iranian Educational Channel. Later, she served as an instructor and advisor in the production of a 48-episode televised Dari literacy program, called Alefbay-e Zendegi (i.e. The Alphabet of Life), for broadcasting in Afghanistan. She created and hosted a daily live television program for Tehran Metro TV.
Yalda has assisted with the organization of, or performed as a host in, numerous events featuring Afghanistan’s culture, history, art and music and festivals featuring Afghanistan’s classical music, poetry and hand-crafts, including an annual festival on short films produced by Afghan refugees. In these events, she has worked with the Afghanistan Embassy in Tehran, Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO,) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR.)
Yalda holds several certificates in voice-training, articulation, dubbing, and journalism, as well as a diploma of excellence in Persian and Arabic calligraphy. She was a member of the Iranian Youths Cinema Association and the Iranian Calligraphers’ Association.
She studied liberal arts at NOVA community college and received NOVA President Melvyn Schiavelli’s recommendation for Georgetown University Preferred Consideration Program. She is currently studying sociology and history at Georgetown University. Yalda has been teaching Dari at Georgetown and has worked with the US-Afghan Women Council as a student advisory board member since Fall 2015. Most recently, she performed in a movie called Temple of War directed by Hamid Naweed and is writing her first book.
Yalda is the co-writer with Susan Galbraith on Women of Troy: Voices from Afghanistan which premieres January 2018 as part of Womens’ Voices in Theater Festival.