Ariana Television Network’s 9th Annual ATN Awards in February recognized Afghanistan’s most popular performing artists for their contribution to Afghanistan’s cultural development over the past year. Held in the Istana Budaya (Palace of Culture) in Kuala Lumpur, the event celebrated Afghanistan’s cultural heritage and its role in unifying the country’s global community. Asad Badie, an Afghan entertainer and singer, served as the master of ceremonies for the fourth year. In addition to recognizing current performers, the celebration awarded Lifetime Achievement, Sitara-e-Hunar, and Mardumi honors. This year, ATN introduced the Jawedana Hai Moseqi award, which recognizes an artist’s legacy achievement in Afghan performing arts.
More than 1,000 Afghan artists submitted work for a panel of judges to consider for the ATN awards, and the public voted on the finalists through ATN’s awards website. Ehsan Bayat, ATN chairman, said the event has grown into the “preeminent showcase of Afghan arts and culture” worldwide. This year, more than 45 million television and online viewers were expected to enjoy the show, and more than 800 guests were expected to attend the event, which has become integral to preserving and enhancing Afghanistan’s culture.