Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC in VOA Special English.
I'm Doug Johnson.
Today, we listen to music from singer/songwriter Keyshia Cole …
Answer a question about actress, producer, businesswoman and television host Oprah Winfrey …
And visit a museum where ancient treasures from Afghanistan are on display.
Hidden Treasures of Afghanistan
Visitors in Washington, D.C., this summer can see an exhibit of treasures that tells a story of ancient civilizations, invasions, and cross-cultural influences. "Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul" is currently on view at the National Gallery of Art. Shirley Griffith has more about this important exhibit.
The works in this exhibit come from four archeological areas within current day Afghanistan. One site, called Aï Khanum, was in an area called Bactria. The Greek military commander Alexander the Great invaded this area over two thousand three hundred years ago. Aï Khanum became a cultural center where Greek artistic traditions combined with local Bactrian traditions.
Starting about two thousand three hundred years ago, the collection of land and sea routes known as the Silk Road became important for trade. It stretched from the eastern Mediterranean Sea to the Chinese border. Afghanistan was at the center of the major routes. For centuries, traders traveled along the Silk Road with their finest goods.
Archeologists found many treasures collected by Kushan rulers at the ancient city of Begram. In the exhibit, you can see a finely made small bronze statue. It combines the qualities of a Greco-Roman god and an Egyptian god into one figure. There are also several finely cut ivory statues of an Indian goddess. The objects from Begram show the many cultural exchanges that took place along the Silk Road.
Archeologists at the site of Tillya Tepe discovered the burial place of nomads, traveling people who took over the area over two thousand years ago. A chief and five women were buried in costly clothing covered with jewels and gold. Their extraordinarily detailed jewelry combines the artistic styles of China, India, Persia and Siberia. A highlight of the exhibit is the strikingly detailed gold crown, which folds into pieces so that it could be moved easily.
These treasures from the National Museum in Kabul were long thought to have been destroyed during the years of war in Afghanistan. Luckily, several wise museum officials hid these objects in the presidential home, starting in nineteen seventy-nine. In two thousand four, officials announced that these treasures had been found and were safe. You can find these words at the National Museum of Afghanistan: "A Nation Stays Alive When Its Culture Stays Alive."
Our listener question this week comes from Mexico. Wilfrido Medina Navarro wants to know more about television personality and producer Oprah Winfrey.
Several publications have named Oprah Winfrey one of the most influential people in the world. Oprah is best known by her first name. She is famous for having her own television show and production company and for helping people. Oprah is said to be worth more than two-and-one-half billion dollars. She gives money to women, children and families in need.
Last year, she opened a school for hundreds of girls in South Africa. In nineteen ninety-eight, she created Oprah's Angel Network, which helps people in need around the world.
Oprah is especially interested in protecting children from sexual abuse. She was responsible for gaining support for the National Child Protection Act of nineteen ninety-three, known as the "Oprah Law." It created a national public list of people found guilty of abusing children. In two thousand five, she created Oprah's Child Predator Watch List. This list helps identify people who are suspected of abusing children.
Oprah was not always so successful, however. She was born into poverty in a small town in Mississippi in nineteen fifty-four. Her mother was young and unmarried. Oprah was sent to live with her grandmother, who taught her about the importance of education.
Starting when she was nine years old, Oprah was sexually abused by members of her family as well as a family friend. She was later sent to live with her father in Tennessee.
She was named Miss Black Tennesee when she was eighteen. She became a radio and television reporter in Nashville. In nineteen eighty-four she took over a local television talk show in Chicago, Illinois. It was later renamed "The Oprah Winfrey Show." Soon the show was broadcast across the country. Today it is the most popular talk show in television history. It is broadcast to more than one hundred countries.
Oprah started her own production company that produces movies and television programs. She started two popular magazines, a Web site, book club and satellite radio channel. Oprah Winfrey has received many awards for her television show and for her public service.
Singer and songwriter Keyshia Cole has quickly become a favorite among listeners of hip-hop and rhythm and blues music. It is more than her soulful voice that makes her songs so popular. She sings about something most people can understand — the painful side of love. Mario Ritter has more.
When it comes to love and sadness Keyshia Cole has a lot to sing about. The twenty-six-year-old singer has dealt with many difficult love experiences. She says one of the worst was when she ended a relationship with the man she had planned to marry because he was involved with another woman.
Yet, Cole did not let emotionally painful experiences interfere with her dream of becoming a professional singer. Instead, she began writing songs about them. Her first album, "The Way It Is," was released in two thousand five. The song "Love" became a hit.
Music critics say Keyshia Cole has an honest way of singing that makes you feel the pain and sadness she sings about. Her latest album is called "Just Like You." Here she sings "I Remember."
Keyshia Cole says she wants to be an example to people to always believe in themselves. We leave you with another hit song by Keyshia Cole from her album "Just Like You." This is "Let It Go."
I'm Doug Johnson. I hope you enjoyed our program today.
It was written by Lawan Davis, Dana Demange, and Elizabeth Stern. Caty Weaver was the producer. To read the text of this program and download audio, go to our Web site, voaspecialenglish.com.
Join us again next week for AMERICAN MOSAIC, VOA's radio magazine in Special English.