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Afghan Artists Unite in Hamburg, Germany for 4th Annual ATN Awards Celebrating Afghan Music and Performance

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla., December 12 (PRNewswire-USNewswire): Musicians and performers gathered from around the world in Hamburg, Germany on December 5, 2009 at the historic Kehrwieder Theatre for Ariana Television Network's (ATN) 4th Annual Awards to recognize and celebrate Afghan musical and performance talent while encouraging unity among the Afghan community around the world and preservation of Afghanistan's cultural heritage.

"This occasion highlights exceptional Afghan talent while bringing attention to Afghanistan in a time where preserving Afghanistan's rich cultural heritage is an important part of rebuilding Afghanistan," said Ehsan Bayat Chairman of Ariana Television Network.

Nearly one thousand different Afghan musicians and artists from around the world submitted their work and voters nominated the top four for each of the thirteen categories of awardees honored at the 4th Annual ATN Awards.

It was an emotional moment for everyone in the audience when Afghan-American singer, composer and producer, Farhad Darya, was announced as the winner of Best Male Artist 2009. Mr. Darya received a standing ovation during the entire performance of his popular song "Atan" and said, "I can never fully express my immense gratitude to Sultana Darya & Hejran Darya who devoted valuable and precious years of their lives to my career, for the overwhelming support I have received from my lovely fans around the world and to Ariana Television Network for their dedication to the Afghan culture."

Best Female Artist for 2009 went to Naghma, who was born in Kandahar and has performed in numerous concerts around the world.

Shekeb Osmani received the Best New Male Artist and Ghazel Sadat received this year's Best New Female Artist.

Abdul Wahab Madaddi, Ustad Arman, Ustad Gul Zaman, and Zahair Howaida received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement awards.

Other winners included Mozhdah Jamalzada for her song "Dukhtaray Afghan" or "I am an Afghan Girl" in the light song category and Mirfaftoon as the Best Mahali Artist 2009.

Hafiz Ali and Devyani Ali, who have touched the hearts of all Afghans with their beautiful voices, walked away from the 4th Annual ATN Awards with two trophies; one for Best Duo 2009 and another for best Lyrics in their song "Madar" written by Nazifa Yakubi.

Ariana's Sitaray Honar 2009 was presented to Nouria Parasto Mehryar, Rahim Mehryar and Khanum Afsana, while Valy received Best Video 2009.

Also, Sharif Sahel and Nazir Khara who traveled from Afghanistan and Latif Nangarhari also received special recognition for their excellence in music.

The host of the 4th Annual ATN Awards was Asad Badie and the program was sponsored by Kabul Bank, Kam Air, Ertebat (ATI), Piroz Import and Export , Afghan Wireless (TOFHA) and Music House.

Ariana Television Network (ATN) (www.arianatelevision.com) and Ariana Radio (FM 93.5) were founded in 2005 by Ehsan Bayat and broadcasts a variety of programs worldwide from Kabul, Afghanistan. Both Ariana Television and Ariana Radio can be seen and heard live on the web at www.arianatelevision.com. ATN's international signal can been viewed across the world via Hot Bird and GlobeCast. Chairman Ehsan Bayat also launched Afghan Wireless Communication Company (www.afghan-wireless.com), the first wireless service and Internet Service Provider in Afghanistan. Since 2005, the Bayat Foundation, (www.bayatfoundation.org and www.bayatfoundation.org.af) led by Ehsan & Fatema Bayat, has contributed to over 200 projects to improve the quality of life in Afghanistan by providing for basic human needs, constructing new facilities and infrastructure, organizing sporting events, promoting health, education and economic programs and preserving Afghanistan's cultural heritage.