Having fled Taliban takeover, members of Afghanistan’s all-female orchestra perform in Qatar

Posted on: October 28, 2021

“For the first time in months, members of Afghanistan’s all-female Zohra orchestra have reassembled in Doha, their music once again filling the air as they face an uncertain future,” states an unsigned article in Tuesday’s (10/27) Agence France-Presse. “While grateful to be safe in Qatar, their escape from Taliban rule is bittersweet, as the girls leave behind friends from the orchestra and their ‘old companions’—their instruments. Last week marked the first time in three months that Marzia Anwari, along with other members of the Afghan music community who escaped to Qatar, played live for an audience. ‘Most of the girls from the Zohra orchestra are here with me in Qatar, but some of them are still in Afghanistan,’ the 18-year-old violist told AFP…. Zohra, Afghanistan’s first all-female orchestra, was established in 2016. Now in exile, and with new instruments, the Afghan musicians are hoping to keep their cultural heritage alive after the Islamist hardliners seized power in August…. Since their return, women’s freedoms and education have again been abruptly curtailed…. Qatar is hosting about 100 students and teachers from the Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM), which includes the Zohra orchestra, until they leave for Portugal.”