Musicians abandoned instruments and fled as Taliban militants occupied Afghanistan National Institute of Music

Posted on: September 21, 2021

“Viola player Bahar was practicing at her music college in the Afghan capital, when news broke that the Taliban had reached the city,” states an unsigned report on Thursday’s (9/16) Agence France Presse. “Terrified of a return to the days when music was forbidden and women were banned from education, she and her classmates rushed home, abandoning their beloved instruments.” Bahar is a false name to protect the musician from reprisal. “The Taliban, who banned music outright during their brutal and oppressive rule from 1996 to 2001, swept back into power on August 15. They have promised a more moderate brand of rule this time—though they have made clear that they will run Afghanistan within the restrictive limits of their interpretation of sharia law…. During a visit by AFP to the college, no music can be heard in its corridors…. A Taliban guard showed AFP a storeroom full of intact musical instruments that were left behind, after reports that everything had been trashed. The caretaker says the group’s leaders had ordered him to protect the instruments…. ANIM’s founder Ahmad Sarmast, who now lives in Australia, says he fears for the future of Afghan music.”