Gregory Warner is a talented independent radio producer who worked with POV’s Web department on two episodes of POV’s Borders: Environment and American I.D. Gregory explored the surge in popularity (and sales) that bottled water has achieved in the past decade with an eye toward improving tap water’s poor public image, and charted the great (and not-so-great) moments in the history of advertising American democracy abroad.

After completing that piece, Gregory traveled to Afghanistan and has since spent many months there, reporting for outlets like NPR, Slate magazine and Washington Monthly magazine. This month he is working on a piece for POV about what Afghani people think of America, Americans and the U.S. military as part of our continuing “What Do They Think of Us?” series.

Sabir with his would-be matchmakers, Miriam (left) and Nikaj (right).

Sabir with his would-be matchmakers, Miriam (left) and Nikaj (right)
Image from This American Life website

For today’s media guide, I want to recommend a radio story that Gregory recently filed from Afghanistan that aired earlier this month on NPR’s amazing This American Life, entitled “A Good Year for Grand Gestures.”* It’s a charming story about an Afghani man (with great hair) who meets a woman and falls in love, and some foreign aid workers who try to help him find happiness. Along the way, you learn a little bit about (not) dating in Afghanistan, the custom of “dowry recycling” and different perspectives on what makes a good marriage.

Miriam and her husband were development workers in Afghanistan. They’d had a whirlwind romance themselves, so when they heard that their driver, Sabir, was in love, but didn’t have enough money to propose to the girl, they made a grand romantic gesture: they gave him $10,000 to pay for the dowry and the wedding. …They soon find out making a lasting love match isn’t as simple as writing a check. Gregory Warner reports. (16 minutes) link

* Note: You have to forward through the five minute prologue to get to Gregory’s piece, or give it a listen. I enjoyed that story, too.

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