Afghan music students who endured three months of terror and anxiety in Afghanistan managed to flee the country. Afghanistan’s sole national music school had 272 students, the last two of whom landed in Doha last week. Culture and musical aspiration may be the last candle in the gloomy condition of Afghanistan under Taliban.
Culture, art, and music has been the primary preys of extremism anywhere in the world. With Afghanistan and command of Taliban rule for a second term, the fears are no less than before.
Afghanistan used to have only one music school with less than 300 students for about two decades. Following the grab of power by Taliban after US withdrawal, fears about the fate of students intensified. A week ago, however, the last two remaining students in the country managed to find a way out.
Last month, more about one-third of the students flee the Taliban rule, with the remaining exposed to a potential risk. The director of the Afghan National Music Institute sought assistance to overcome the threat and take out the remaining students.
Ahmad Sarmast, the Institute’s founder and director describes the arrival of the last two students as “emotional.” He greeted the students at Doha airport, the destination of most evacuation flights from Kabul.
“It’s good to see them happy, and also hopeful about the future,” Sarmast told the reporters about the arrival. The 272 Afghan music students who exit Afghanistan would now go to Portugal, where they have been officially received. The Afghan music students intend to restart their musical aspirations in that country. The Zohra symphony, with women as the sole members, are among evacuees.
Afghanistan has no much hope about the future. Each nation, nevertheless, has its own saviors. As for Afghanistan, it may be artists and musicians in the future.
Afghan Music Students; A Glimmering Hope in the Darkness
Students and instructors at Afghan National Music Institute were among the extremely fortunate. Following the abrupt withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan, loads of Afghan nationals have attempted to leave the country, fearing oppression, bloodshed, and a collapsing economy.
Nonetheless, musicians were under more sever hazards and could face harsher consequences. Taliban leaders have previously outlawed musical products as against their religious practice.
Although the withdrawals may save the Afghan music students lives, they constitute a setback for a long years of endeavor to nurture the country’s greatest and sharpest artists. Since establishment 11 years ago, Afghan music students of National school made performances in too many countries, serving as an indication of development for the country. Music flourished in Kabul and elsewhere in Afghanistan following the removal of former Taliban ruling system.
Taliban’s comeback, however, has cast a shadow over most of the nation and cultural practices. Despite the fact that music received no official prohibition, many in Kabul remain wary. On the radio and television, there is much less, specially selected, music. In public place and ceremonies, music has almost no role.
Afghanistan with an old and illustrious musical culture, enjoys wide cultural practices under religious observations. Islam has no ruling to forbid music, and many other Islamic nations like UAE, Iran, and Qatar applaud musical products. Taliban’s conduct is part of a radical interpretation that has no origin in Islamic tradition.
Afghanistan has gone through a series of developments since August the outcome of which is not clear for anybody. The rule of threat and violence, in any case, has no place in Afghan cultural history. Afghan Music Students who left home have one aspiration in common; Turn back one day to build a glorious nation.