Ramiz King while growing up was determined to achieve his goals. Ramiz is originally from Kabul. In the backdrop of early 2000s Queensland, Australia, the skinny 9-year-old was determined to challenge the odds stacked against him.
Ramiz was determined to change his dreams into reality someday. He was going to be famous. Ramiz is a producer and well-known reality TV star with a glamorous lifestyle, he is even more dedicated to his mission. Ramiz is facing an unlikely foe.
“I didn’t really have significant talent. I couldn’t sing and I couldn’t act properly or anything at that age but I still used to ‘record videos’ with a hand-held mirror,” Ramiz told VICE World News. Back then, he thought those were skills he needed to be famous. “I used to be so naive.”
Ramiz has been receiving threats for starring in a reality TV show with his model-actress sister Rohina. The show, titled West Ta East, is inspired by Keeping Up With The Kardashians and is partly filmed and set to air in Afghanistan.
“They have been saying that the futures of our production team are at risk, and if I continue to do the show, then I will be at risk too,” said Ramiz. “They are assuming that the show will be similar to the Kardashians’ in terms of sex and nudity.”
West Ta East will be featuring the King siblings as they transition from their lives of luxury in Australia to working in Afghanistan. The show will document the siblings’ adventures inside rural communities. It will also depict their everyday lives, controversies, relationships, and challenges. “It will show a lot of liberation in every aspect, with a female-dominated household where the women work hard and are the breadwinners,” Ramiz said.
The show’s crew is receiving a number of threats for promoting “Westernized values” and for the dominant role of the show’s female lead, Rohina. “When a woman speaks up with all her heart, people are actually lifted and can feel the vibrations of that powerful feminine energy. That’s what the Taliban are afraid of. They don’t want me to pass on a message to the next generation of girls that they can be confident in themselves.” Rohina commented.
In November, the Taliban government’s Vice and Virtue Ministry issued a directive prohibiting female actors from appearing in TV dramas. Rohina worries that the Taliban’s restrictive policies will ultimately stifle the country’s creative talent.
“Right now, all we have is conflict or sadness. We have a lot of talented people out there who want to create positive content for Afghanistan. We are a beautiful country. We are a beautiful people. We are talented, but we can’t [display it] right now because of the Taliban.”
Most of West Ta East’s production staff have left Afghanistan. Despite this, the show is set to air in the fall of 2022 on a music streaming offshoot of the Afghan television station TOLO TV. Ramiz hopes that it will offer help to young Afghans seeking an escape from the harsh realities of everyday life in Afghanistan.