Before Taliban rule in Afghanistan, Sardar Mohammad made his living and provided for his family by playing the harmonium, a traditional folk instrument that was popular at celebrations. Since the Taliban takeover in August 2021, playing and listening to music has been banned, with sermons or Koran readings replacing the melodies once heard at
RFE/RL’s Radio Mashaal Abubakar Siddique June 3, 2022 PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Zaryali is among the hundreds of Afghan musicians who have fled to neighboring Pakistan since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. Soon after seizing power in August, the Taliban outlawed music and footage emerged of its fighters publicly beating and humiliating musicians and burning their instruments. The
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty March 29, 2022 U.S. cellist Yo-Yo Ma joined refugees from the Afghanistan National Institute of Music for a performance in Lisbon, Portugal, where the Afghan musicians have sought asylum. Ma joined young Afghan and Portuguese musicians for the performance of a Mozart piece on March 29 on a small stage at
8am: Local artists in Kapisa province have expressed concern about restrictions imposed by local officials in the province, saying that their economic problems and security concerns have multiplied since the fall of the republic. They say their professional lives are under threat. Local artists in Kapisa are asking the authorities to allow them to work
NPR: After the Taliban took over Afghanistan, members of the institute feared for their lives. After five airlifts starting Oct. 2, nearly 300 students, faculty and family members affiliated with the music school all made it safely to Doha by mid-November. Click here to read more (external link).
AP: Students and faculty members from the Afghanistan National Institute of Music arrived with their families Monday in Portugal, where they are being granted asylum and where they hope to rebuild their acclaimed school. Click here to read more (external link).
NBC News: The last two of more than 270 students, faculty and staff from Afghanistan’s only music school have left the country in the wake of the Taliban takeover, the institution’s founder said on Thursday. “It was extremely emotional,” the Afghanistan National Institute of Music’s founder and director Ahmad Sarmast said of students he greeted
Tolo News: According to the musicians, music was the only way of income but as they have abandoned it for over two months and are currently facing severe economic challenges. “Any country that doesn’t have culture and national music will never develop,” said Asif Khalili, a musician. The musicians called on the [Taliban] government to
Ron Synovitz RFE/RL’s Radio Azadi October 13, 2021 Ahmad Gholami, a 25-year-old Afghan musician, had dedicated his life to the art of playing a sitar-like lute called the tanbur. But after nearly a decade mastering the instrument well enough to earn his living as a professional musician, the Taliban has banned music under its tribal
Seattle Times: The last time that the militant group ruled the country, in the late 1990s, it outright banned music. So far this time, the government set up by the Taliban hasn’t taken that step officially. But already, musicians are afraid a ban will come, and some Taliban fighters on the ground have started enforcing