BĪDĀR (lit. awake), the name of three Persian periodicals, two of which were published in Tehran in 1923 and 1951 and the other in Mazār-e Šarīf in 1925.

The first Bīdār appeared daily in Tehran in only four issues, as a replacement of the well-known newspaper Eqdām, in Ḥūt, 1301 Š./February, 1923; the licensee remained the same, i.e., ʿAbbās Ḵalīlī. The second Bīdār to be published in Tehran appeared as a short-lived weekly in the summer of 1330 Š./1951; the licensee was ʿAbd-al-Moḥammad Majd Navāʾī.

The most important Persian newspaper with the name Bīdār began as a weekly published in Mazār-e Šarīf, Afghanistan, under the general editorship and management of ʿAbd-al-ʿAzīz Khan from 15 Ḥūt 1303 Š./5 March 1925. It has continued to be published under a variety of editors and general managers, first by the Department of Education of Mazār-e Šarīf, and later by the Department of Information and Culture of Balḵ province in the form of a weekly and then a biweekly; it ultimately became a daily published each afternoon. Bīdār was actually a continuation of the newspaper Etteḥād-e Eslām which had begun on 1 Ḥūt 1300 Š./19 February 1922; for this reason the founding date listed on Bīdār’s masthead was 1300 Š./1922. During the government of Ḥabīb-Allāh Khan, known as Bačča-ye Saqqā (January-October, 1929), Bīdār, like other Afghan newspapers of this period, changed its name, becoming Rahbar-e Eslām. After the fall of Bačča-ye Saqqā, it reverted to Bīdār. Throughout its history, Bīdār remained a journal of local news and social affairs; but after the formation of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan it became a news and political commentary journal, which, in addition to reporting local news and issues, also focused attention on national and international affairs. In this new period, Bīdār was published as the newspaper of the “Democratic Repub­lic of Afghanistan.” While it was a lithograph publi­cation, Bīdār was published entirely in Persian; however, after Pashto became the official language of Afghanistan (1936), some of its items were published in that language, with which the Tajik and Turkish speakers of the area are only slightly familiar. First lithographed in four pages of two columns each, measuring 20 x 33 cm, Bīdār eventually grew to 37.5 x 52 cm with six columns. The lithographed Bīdār was devoid of illustration and advertisement, in lead type, it published rare advertisement and pictures. A yearly subscription initially cost five Afghan rupees in Mazār-e Šarīf and six in the rest of Afghanistan, which later rose to 100 and 110 Afghanis respectively. Incomplete files of this newspaper are found in the Central Library of the University of Tehran, in the Kabul Public Library, and the Library of Congress.



M. K. Āhang, Sayr-e žūrnālīzm dar Afḡānestān, Kabul, 1349 Š./1970, pp. 159-61.

I. V. Pourhadi, Persian and Afghan Newspapers in the Library of Congress 1871-1978, Washington, 1979, p. 85.

M. Ṣadr Hāšemī, Tārīḵ-e jarāyed o majallāt-e Īrān, Isfahan, 1327-32 Š./1948-53, nos. 311-12.

(Nassereddin Parvin)

Originally Published: December 15, 1989

Last Updated: December 15, 1989

This article is available in print.
Vol. IV, Fasc. 3, pp. 241-242