Born 22 years ago in Germany to Afghan parents, Pohyal Stori has come a long way and made a name for himself in the fields of artificial intelligence and the Afghan Pashto language, and beyond. Around age 9, young Pohyal realized he had an interest in tech and started programming. Six years ago, he published Pashto WebFonts, an open-source database that’s already being used by Google and Bing for language translation.
Pohyal’s two-decade journey has been strongly influenced by his family ties. He’s the son of Abdul Nasir Stori, a doctor from the Khas Kunar district of Afghanistan’s Kunar Province. Pohyal is also the grandson of Dr. Kabir Stori, foremost poet, writer, researcher, and nationalist. Coming from a family with a rich history of political activism, poetry and nationalism, Pohyal continues to build on a strong family legacy passed down through generations.
The Legend of Dr. Kabir Stori
The iconic Dr. Kabir Stori was born on April 6, 1942, in a village in Kunar Province. Kabir got his elementary education in Khas Kunar, eventually joining Rahman Baba Lycee in Kabul for further studies. As an exceptional student, Kabir Stori won a government scholarship to study in Germany, eventually earning a doctorate in natural sciences, while being acknowledged with many other disciplines from philosophy to political science, sociology, psychology, etc. Kabir Stori’s achievement in academics was only bested by his exploits as a poet and politician.
Dr. Kabir blended poetry with a dose of patriotism.
His poems often revolve around sensitive concepts about Afghanistan on both local and global fronts. He wrote in Pashto, being his native language and one with which most of his followers are most comfortable. Dr. Kabir was at a point the chairman of the Pashtoons Social Democratic Party, being one of its founding members. He championed several human rights causes and was regarded as the most motivated and active politician of his time. April 6, 2006, on the 7th anniversary of his death, the government of Afghanistan changed the name of the school in his home town of Khas Kunar to “Dr. Kabir Stori Lycee.”
Like Grandfather, Like Son
Fast forward to 2020, Pohyal is still keeping the family flag flying.
This time around, he’s not doing it as a politician or an academician like his legendary grandfather. Rather, he’s fighting his wars with his own talent and expertise – technology! Pohyal grew up in Germany and lives in Wesseling, North Rhine-Westphalia. However, that has done little to nothing to quench his love and passion for his beloved Pashto. Blessed with the intelligence and brilliance of his granddad, Pohyal taught himself everything he knew, eventually writing his first line of code at just nine years of age. From being an intern at an A-list tech company, Pohyal has forged a clear path in tech and today owns and manages an array of IT companies.
The Stori family has always been politically active. Pohyal continues in the path of the family in continuing to leverage politics for the greater good of the Pashtun people. He is an ardent supporter of Manzoor Pashteen and his Pashtun Tahafuz Movement. As a model German-Afghan, Pohyal fights for the unification of Pashtuns and more evidently, the better presentation and representation of the Pashto language on the internet. Pohyal has gone the extra mile to ensure Google’s publication of his beloved Afghan/Pashto language, serving as a worthy model for other Afghans who grew multiculturally.
WebFonts, Nandara GmbH and Good Old Pashto
Pohyal’s love for the Pashto language has influenced how he deploys his technology skills and expertise. One such example is his launch of Nandara GmbH, a software platform that leverages the power of artificial intelligence (AI) for language translation. While Pohyal Stori’s Nandara is in many ways similar to Google Translate and Microsoft’s Bing Translators, the Nandara GmbH, however, does a far better job at translating the Pashto language, thanks to its advanced customizations, unlimited text translations, and superior data security.
Again, Pohyal has published the Pashto WebFonts and an open-source database that’s already being used by tech giants like Google and Bing. The WebFonts, for instance, allows the downloading of a particular font file alongside the website. Web browsers supporting web fonts will therefore have the same font. The Pashto WebFonts software also boasts inbuilt features that make it super-easy to use. The open-source database, on the other hand, offers greater functionality. The software has an open code that can be downloaded for free and can be modified and reused easily. For Pashto translation, Pohyal’s software guarantees unlimited text translations and superior data security to guard against data leakage on websites.
For Pohyal Stori, the sense of patriotism and Pashtunistan identity runs in the family.
Even while outside the shores of the motherland, Pohyal actively seeks to contribute to the betterment of Pashto and the Pashtun people as a whole. Pohyal is lending his voice to the struggle with that thing which he does best – building innovative software and applications. It’s like passing the torch to a new generation and unlike Dr. Kabir Stori who spoke with his poetry and activism, Pohyal is making his contributions with WebFonts, Nandara GmbH, and the likes, all for the love of the beautiful Pashto language!