The Sound Kitchen

The Sound Kitchen: Afghanistan government’s power-sharing agreement

Audio 20:57
Sound Kitchen Podcast
Sound Kitchen Podcast RFI

This week on The Sound Kitchen, you’ll hear the answer to the question about the power-sharing agreement in Afghanistan. There’s listener news, The Sound Kitchen mailbag, great music, and of course, the new quiz question. Just click on the “Audio” arrow above and enjoy!


Hello everyone! Welcome to The Sound Kitchen weekly podcast, published every Saturday – here on our website, or wherever you get your podcasts. You’ll hear the winner’s names announced and the week’s quiz question, along with all the other ingredients you’ve grown accustomed to: your letters and essays, “On This Day”, quirky facts and news, interviews, and great music … so be sure and listen every week.

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RFI Clubs: Be sure to always include Audrey Iattoni (  from our Listener Relations department on all your RFI Club correspondence. Remember to copy me ( when you write them so that I know what is going on, too. N.B. You do not need to send her your quiz answers! Email overload!

And don't forget, there is a Facebook page just for you, the RFI English Clubs. It is a closed group, so when you apply to join, be sure you include the name of your RFI Club and your membership number. Everyone can look at it, but only members of the group can post on it. If you haven’t yet asked to join the group, and you are a member of an independent, officially recognised RFI English Club, go to the Facebook link above and fill out the questionnaire!!!!! (if you do not answer the questions, I click “decline”).

There’s a new Facebook page for members of the general RFI Listeners Club. Just click on the link and fill out the questionnaire, and you can connect with your fellow Club members around the world. Be sure you include your RFI Listeners Club membership number (most of them begin with an A, followed by a number) in the questionnaire, or I will have to click “Decline”, which I don’t like to do!

To join the RFI Listeners Club, just write to me at and tell me you want to join, and I’ll send you a membership number. It’s that easy. When you win a Sound Kitchen quiz as an RFI Listeners Club member, you receive a premium prize.

Welcome to our new RFI Listeners Club member: Abu Hayat Kamal Murad from Natore, Bangladesh. As we say in French, bienvenue Abu!

This week’s quiz: On 23 May, I asked you a political question about Afghanistan. On 9 March two men took the oath of office as president at the same time, due to a dispute over last September’s presidential vote, which was won by the incumbent. The poll was questioned by the leading opposition candidate and the two men started a months-long election dispute.

On 17 May the two men reached a power-sharing agreement. The current president remains president, with undivided executive authority at the top. In exchange, his chief rival has been given the leading role in the country’s peace process with the Taliban, and the right to appoint half the cabinet.

You were to write to me with the names of these two men.

The answer is: The name of the President of Afghanistan is Ashraf Ghani. Ghani’s rival’s name is Abdullah Abdullah, who now has the title of Chief Executive of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. As noted, Abdullah was given the right to appoint half the government cabinet and to lead the High Council for National Reconciliation, which is in charge of peace talks with the Taliban. I am sorry to report the peace talks are not yet bearing fruit: there are on-going attacks by the Taliban against government forces and civilians.

The winners are: Shahanaj Parvin from Rangpur and Ashik Eqbal Tokon from Rajshahi, both in Bangladesh; Ujwal Babu from Kathmandu, Nepal; from India, there's Mahesh Jain from Delhi and Kanchan KR Chatterjee, the president of the RFI Natun Radio Listeners Club in Murshidabad, India.  

Congratulations winners!

Here’s the music you heard on this week’s program: The prelude from the Cello Suite # 1 in G major, BWV 1007 by Johann Sebastian Bach, performed by Yo-Yo Ma; "Ghar Aya Mera Pardesi" by Lata Mangeshkar, performed by Humayun Sakhi; “The Flight of the Bumblebee” by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov; “St Thomas” by Sonny Rollins, performed by the Sonny Rollins Quartet, and “Tangled Up”, written by David Schreurs, Vincent Degiorgio, and Guy Chambers, sung by Caro Emerald.

Do you have a musical request? Send it to

This week’s question ... You'll have to listen to the show to participate. You have until 7 September to enter this week's quiz; the winners will be announced on the 12 September podcast. When you enter, be sure you send your postal address in with your answer, and if you have one, your RFI Listeners Club membership number.

Send your answers to:


Susan Owensby

RFI – The Sound Kitchen

80, rue Camille Desmoulins

92130 Issy-les-Moulineaux



By text … You can also send your quiz answers to The Sound Kitchen mobile phone. Dial your country’s international access code, or “ + ”, then 33 6 31 12 96 82. Don’t forget to include your mailing address in your text – and if you have one, your RFI Listeners Club membership number.

To find out how you can win a special Sound Kitchen prize, click here

To find out how you can become a member of the RFI Listeners Club, or to form your own official RFI Club, click here


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