The Sound Kitchen

Afghan asylum requests to France

Issued on:

This week on The Sound Kitchen you’ll hear the answer to the question about the number of Afghans who applied for asylum in France in 2020. There’s a birthday tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, news from listeners, “Ollia’s Happy Moment”, “Music from Erwan” - and of course, the new quiz question. Just click on the “Audio” arrow above and enjoy! 

Sound Kitchen Podcast
Sound Kitchen Podcast RFI

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.

I am busy cooking up special shows with your musical requests, so get them in! Send your musical requests to  Tell us why you like the piece of music, too – it makes it more interesting for us all!

Be sure you check out our wonderful podcasts!

In addition to the breaking news articles on our site,, with in-depth analysis of current affairs in France and across the globe, we have several podcasts which will leave you hungry for more.

There’s Paris PerspectiveAfrica Calling, Spotlight on France, and of course, The Sound Kitchen. We have a bilingual series - an old-time radio show, with actors (!) to help you learn French, called Les voisins du 12 bis. And there is the excellent International Report, too.

As you see, sound is still part of the RFI English service!  Keep checking our website for updates on the latest from our excellent staff of journalists.

To listen to our podcasts from your PC, go to our website and click on the three horizontal bars on the top right, choose "Listen to RFI / Podcasts", and you’ve got ‘em! You can either listen directly or subscribe and receive them directly on your mobile phone.

To listen to our podcasts from your mobile phone, slide through the tabs just under the lead article (the first tab is “Headline News”) until you see “Podcasts”, and choose your show. 

Teachers, take note! I save postcards and stamps from all over the world to send to you for your students. If you would like stamps and postcards for your students, just write and let me know. The address is   If you would like to donate stamps and postcards, feel free! Our address is listed below. 

Another idea for your students: my beloved music teacher from St Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, Br Gerald Muller, has been writing books for young adults in his retirement – and they are free! There is a volume of biographies of painters and musicians called Gentle Giants, and an excellent biography of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. They are also a good way to help you improve your English - that’s how I worked on my French, reading books which were meant for young readers – and I guarantee you, it’s a good method for improving your language skills. To get Br. Gerald’s free books, click here.

RFI Clubs: Be sure to always include Audrey Iattoni ( from our Listener Relations department in all your RFI Club correspondence. Remember to copy me ( when you write to her 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. Only members of RFI English Clubs can belong to this group page, 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 Facebook page for members of the general RFI Listeners Club, too. 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!

This week’s quiz: On 4 September, I asked you a question about French President Emmanuel Macron’s meetings with the Taliban. Macron denied that the talks were a sign of recognition of the group, saying, and I quote from my colleague Amanda Morrow’s article: “Let’s be clear: it is the Taliban who are in control of Kabul. In an operational, practical way, we must have these discussions. The talks come with the condition the Taliban respect humanitarian law, the rights of women, and that they do not collude with regional terrorist groups.”

I asked you to send me the answer to this question: how many Afghans applied for asylum in France in 2020?

The answer is: As you read in Amanda’s article: “over 10,000”. There’s a debate about the exact figure, all from highly respected sources: some say 10,191 and others say 8,886 - but you were to refer to Amanda’s article for the answer, so “over 10,000” is the correct answer to this week’s quiz.   

The winners are: Raihan Ali, who is a member of the Nilshagor RFI Fan Club in Nilphamari, Bangladesh, and Muhammad Shamim, the president of the Golden Eagles RFI Club in Keralam State, India. There are two RFI Listeners Club members on the list of lucky winners this week: Helmut Matt from Herbolzheim, Germany, and Bernard Egbe from Abuja, Nigeria. Last but not least, faithful RFI English listener Ismail Khan Sahta from Rajasthan, India.

Congratulations winners!

Here’s the music you heard on this week’s programme: “Ragupati Raghav Raja Ram”, a traditional Hindu devotional song arranged by Vaishnava Janato, performed on the flute by Rajesh Maji;  Idem, but Ravi Shankar added to the arrangements, and joined the Wren Orchestra conducted by George Fenton; The Young Afghan Traditional Ensemble performing the traditional Afghan song “Naghmadokhana”; “The Flight of the Bumblebee” by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov;  “Qasida Burda Shareef (Maula Ya Salli)”, a traditional Pakistani Sufi song performed by Dur e Adan and Ambareen; “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, and “Lilith” by the singer/songwriter Melissa Laveaux.

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 1 November to enter this week's quiz; the winners will be announced on the 6 November 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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