Reza Deghati

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2008


Les guerres et les crises sont souvent lourdes de séquelles pour les populations de sociétés fragilisées où l’accès limité à l’information et à l’éducation pèse sur le degré de développement et sur sa capacité à se pacifier. En formant aux métiers de l’information/communication et en soutenant la création d’outils éducatifs, Reza donne aux populations bénéficiaires - particulièrement femmes et enfants - les moyens de contribuer à la reconstruction d’une société civile solide et à la restauration d’un climat pacifique.



Aina lancée en 2001 en Afghanistan, 1000 personnes ont été formées en 10 ans et 8 outils de communication/information afghans indépendants ont été créés : radio pour les femmes, journaux, magazine familial “ Parvaz “, documentaires réalisés par les femmes. Depuis 2012, forts de ce modèle d’éducation visuelle, Les ateliers Reza / Reza’s Visual Academy mènent des formations au langage de l’image auprès des jeunes mineurs de banlieues d’Europe (250 jeunes de 2012 à 2014) et de 60 jeunes réfugiés syriens dans 3 camps au Kurdistan irakien à travers son programme Exile Voices.



Né en Iran, Reza photographie le monde entre guerre et paix depuis 30 ans. Ses photographies sont diffusées dans les médias internationaux, des livres, des expositions et des documentaires. Parallèlement à son métier de photographe, Reza passionné d’éducation mène un engagement humanitaire bénévole depuis 1984.


This profile was prepared when Reza Deghati was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2008.
The New Idea
Reza is the founder of AINA, a network that fosters the development of civil society through the education of women and children, and through sustainable media and communication outlets. Since 2001, AINA has shaped an independent Afghan media by training local journalists (many of them women) in everything from photojournalism and video production to radio and broadcast management. In addition, AINA has led multiple nationwide education efforts, using both print media and innovative mobile cinema to reach millions across the country and present topics as varied as vaccinations, tolerance, cultural history, and democracy. In short, AINA empowers citizens with the education and skills needed to create media, reinforce democracy, resist oppression, and speak out in a country where they have been voiceless for a generation.

Decades of war and destruction have not only destroyed Afghani lives, homes, and entire cities, but have stripped generations of Afghanis of their very identities. After working for thirty years as a photojournalist with communities devastated by conflicts and wars, Reza recognized that traditional relief and aid focused almost entirely on food, housing, and infrastructure. Issues related to “wounded souls” as he calls it, are neglected. Reza founded AINA to overcome decades of psychological and cultural destruction and restore the minds, souls, and culture of Afghanis. He does so through education and media training—tools critical for citizen empowerment and for a strong civil society. Reza has said numerous times that educated children and an independent media in Afghanistan represent a vastly more powerful force for battling extremism, oppression, and intolerance, than any army ever could.

Since its inception, AINA has trained over 1,000 women and men in media and communication skills, with more than 90 percent now employed using these skills. Eight publications, including two women’s magazines and one children’s magazine, Parvaz, have been developed and reach millions in circulation. Thirty AINA-produced mobile educational films have been viewed by over a million Afghanis across the country and women-led radio stations are broadcast across the country. In addition, the first documentary by an all-female production team, produced by AINA, was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2005. All of AINA’s efforts are meant to create sustainable media enterprises that are produced, managed, and staffed locally.

Reza chose Afghanistan for piloting his model because of his close connection to the country and because he thought that as one of the harshest, most difficult countries on the planet, if his model worked in Afghanistan, it could work anywhere. His initiative, Open Mind, will introduce many of AINA’s strategies across the world, beginning in countries that are suffering or have recently suffered through turmoil, including refugee crises, wars, and natural disasters. In particular, Open Mind will continue to test the concept of “emergency education,” tailored to the specific context of displacement and refugee camps where children have been deprived of education for months or years. All education materials are mobile (e.g., buses and cinema vans), based on visual learning, and produced with the help of local women who gain employment.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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