The station works like this: They don't have any DJs who talk on air - they simply allow people to call in and say what they want on the airwaves. The radio station will post topics (like Afghan elections or traffic in the city) and then allow the conversation to flow. Of course, it doesn't go on air without some checking. They do edit the calls to put them in order or to make sure they aren't offensive - so the calls aren't live) but they do not edit the content. In some places, there are neighborhoods where each morning people call in at the same time to warn people about traffic problems in that part of the city. There are also conversations about how things are going in parliament, or results for the Afghan national sports teams. But the owner told me it can also be much like the United States with kids calling in to give "shout-outs" to their friends. It is an interesting model that is giving Afghans a voice on radio. It is extremely popular in some cities and we went up to check on the antenna and facilities that were being opened in Mazar for the next station.
Afterward, my colleagues and I visited a sports complex the USG is also funding for a local Mazar neighborhood, and then we went to lunch at a local restaurant. I don't get to go out for Afghan food much (read - three or four times total the whole year) but it was exciting to sit in a restaurant surrounded by Afghan families and men on their lunch breaks and just have some Afghan food. It gives me hope to see that kind of living in Afghanistan, to remind me that there is a quotidian life that continues and that you can still get good chicken in a restaurant.