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The day the music died: Afghanistan’s all-female orchestra falls silent


Whereas Khpalwak frantically burned her musical recollections on Aug 15, the day the Taliban marched into Kabul with no struggle, a few of her friends have been attending a observe at ANIM, getting ready for a giant worldwide tour in October.

At 10am, the varsity’s safety guards rushed into the rehearsal room to inform the musicians that the Taliban have been closing in. Of their haste to flee, many left behind devices too heavy and conspicuous to hold on the streets of the capital, in line with Sarmast.

Sarmast, who was in Australia on the time, stated that he acquired many messages from college students frightened about their security and asking for assist. His workers instructed him to not return to the nation as a result of the Taliban have been searching for him and his dwelling had been raided a number of instances.

The risks going through performers in Afghanistan have been brutally highlighted in 2014, when a suicide bomber blew himself up throughout a present at a French-run college in Kabul, wounding Sarmast who was within the viewers.

On the time, Taliban insurgents claimed the assault and stated that the play, a condemnation of suicide bombings, was an insult to “Islamic values”.

Even throughout 20 years of a Western-backed authorities in Kabul, which tolerated higher civil liberties than the Taliban, there was resistance to the thought of an all-female orchestra.

Zohra orchestra members have beforehand spoken about having to cover their music from conservative households and being verbally abused and threatened with beatings. There have been even objections amongst younger Afghans.

Khpalwak recalled one incident in Kabul when a gaggle of boys stood attentively watching one in every of their performances.

As she was packing up, she overheard them speaking amongst themselves. “What a disgrace these women are enjoying music”, “how have their households allowed them?”, “women ought to be at dwelling”, she recalled them saying.


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