Yalda Baktash lived as a refugee in Iran, where she co-founded, and served as a principal instructor in, a refugee support organization, called Sayeban-e Abi, which offered training programs in literacy, computer, English, journalism, arts, filmmaking, voice training, articulation and dubbing mainly to Afghan refugees living in Tehran and its rural areas.
Yalda dubbed numerous foreign movies, TV series and documentaries into Dari or Farsi for Persian-based radio and television channels in Afghanistan and Iran. She served as scriptwriter, set designer, and advisor in the production of a TV program called Hezar Rang, which aired in Afghanistan, and also served as instructor and technical advisor in the production of audio-visual teaching/learning aids for Afghan school textbooks.
She has been a host and instructor in a 52-episode televised calligraphy training program, which has been aired several times by the Iranian Educational Channel and created and hosted a daily live television program for Tehran Metro TV. She served as an instructor and advisor in the production of a 48-episode televised Dari literacy program, called Alefbay-e Zendegi (i.e. The Alphabet of Life), for broadcasting in Afghanistan;
Yalda assisted with the organization of, or performed as a host in, numerous events featuring Afghanistan’s culture, history, art and music and participated in the organization of a number of festivals and events featuring Afghanistan’s classical music, poetry and hand-crafts, including an annual festival on short films produced by Afghan refugees. She also worked, as a volunteer, with Afghanistan Embassy in Tehran, Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in holding various cultural events on Afghanistan’s culture, art and music.
She holds several certificates in voice-training, articulation, dubbing, and journalism, as well as a diploma of excellence in Persian and Arabic calligraphy. She was a member of the Iranian Youths Cinema Association and the Iranian Calligraphers’ Association.
Yalda studied liberal arts at NOVA community college and received NOVA President Melvyn Schiavelli’s recommendation for Georgetown University Preferred Consideration Program. She received a BA from Georgetown University in sociology and history, where she also taught Dari and worked with the US-Afghan Women Council.
She performed in a movie called Temple of War directed by Hamid Naweed, and was introduced to Susan Galbraith through Dr. Naweed, which initiated their collaboration on Women of Toy: Voices from Afghanistan, with Yalda a co-writer of the work of music-theatre.
She currently is a featured anchor woman at Voice of America.