Who remembers Afghan musicians?

While the world’s attention flits from one conflict zone to the next, the situation for Afghan musicians remains perilous since the return of the violently anti-music Taliban in August 2021. 

Once again, it is illegal in Afghanistan to play, study, or listen to music. Women cannot leave the homes or hold jobs. Girls cannot go to school. And because these edicts do not merely affect people’s spirits, but also their livelihoods, Afghan musicians write frequently to Cultures in Harmony, begging for help. 

Ahmad Milad, an amateur pianist who used to work at the Ministry of Culture, back when such a place would welcome a pianist, wrote to me: “There are two reasons I preferred to stay in Kabul for now. First, I have bigger goals such as getting a student visa and more time to focus on and do research for this inside Afghanistan. Second, there is no certified course for the TOEFL preparation in Iran. For these reasons, I refused to live in Iran. Right now, I am at a relatively safe place in Kabul. Very few people know me here and I don’t face serious threats. But I don’t want to stay here forever because I will not have a good future in Afghanistan too as Taliban are in power. I will stay here until I’m ready to take the TOEFL test and apply for a scholarship abroad.”

Cultures in Harmony sent him $225 for his TOEFL course and materials.

Spogmai once studied sitar at Afghanistan National Institute of Music. Since the return of the Taliban, she was the victim of an attack and suffered severe burns. To assist her family’s survival, we sent her $300. She wrote back: “Hello, I am very thankful from culturesinharmony, who helped me in this difficult situation of Afghanistan and I bought the necessary goods for the children. Thank you very much.” She sent this picture:

Please help us continue to support Afghan musicians in their hour of need by making a tax-deductible contribution to Cultures in Harmony today.