Saturday, February 02, 2013

Afghanistan National Institute of Music comes to US, restores musical tradition lost to the Taliban shortly before 9/11

The New York Times has a story about the Afghanistan National Institute of Music on its front page, Saturday, February 2, 2013, by Alissa J. Rubin and Daniel J. Wakin, link here.  

What is particularly striking is that the Taliban had cracked down on music starting in 1996, five years before 9/11,  The Taliban destroyed instruments and copies of music, and physically harassed musicians, all on the theory that music was “un-Islamic”.  It’s the “everyone has to” style of thinking carried to extreme.  It seems that even native music was banned, not just western. There is some concern that the native government and military could have trouble protecting musical expression after the US leaves in 2014, as President Obama has promised.  

The Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center will present ensembles from the Afghan National Institute of Music on Thursday Feb. 7 free, at 6 PM, link here
The New York Times characterized the group this way. “How do you get to Carnegie Hall>  First enroll at the Kabul Music School”. 

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