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August 25, 2001 Copenhagen
Best singer Award

It was August 25, 2001 and was considered a warm day by the residence of Copenhagen. But for
those who came from other countries nearby and afar, it was just a nice day. The hall was full of
eager faces. It was rumored that approximately 1200 were in attendance. The Afghans in Denmark
have never before witnessed a gathering of this magnitude. From the stage a man was looking at
the eager faces of the audience that were unable to contain their excitement. He was looking at
them as if through the lens of a camera focused on the crowd. The faces looked familiar. Does he
recognize any one? Is he looking at a familiar face? It looks like he does recognize them. Yes! He
knows these faces very well. These faces are as clear to him as water and closer than air. He has
seen them before. He has also seen them in 1989, the year he was chosen as the singer of the

For a moment, he is awash with great memories. In 1989 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul, he
was recognized and selected as the singer of the year in front of these same faces and the in
presence of other great and famous musicians and artists of that time. It was said that he was a
great choice. That was one of the reasons, that everyone had tried their best in organizing a great
event. The video of that night had been copied and watched by the people over and over again
inside and outside of the country.

Now he knows why he recognizes these faces, it was August 25, 2001. The hall was not very large,
yet the crowd was larger than the hall. It looked like the roof and the walls of the hall were reinforced
to contain the power of emotions and applause of that night. It was the night to choose the 2000/2001
best singer/artist of Afghanistan. For more than one year, the Afghan foreigners in the small country
of Denmark utilized a lot of effort to choose their favorite musician. This effort was undertaken by Malik
Setiz, the anchor for Nidai Watan Radio and Television Program in Copenhagen. Nidai Watan contacted
Afghan organizations and Afghan literary figures all over the world. They as well agreed with the choice
of the Afghan residents in Denmark. The date to announce this choice was set for August 25, 2001.

Aside from the announcers and representatives of the social and cultural societies, Zahir Huwaida,
Head of Afghan Artists Union in Europe and one of the well-known and respected names in the Afghan
world of music and culture spoke on the topic of this selection. Ms. Maria Korpe Executive Director of
"Freemuse", an international society fighting against the music censorship around the globe was a
guest speaker and introduced Mr. Darya with a gift from the society.

The crowd was wild with excitement, and continuously applauding. From the stage, he was again
looking at the emotional and excited faces of the crowd. That night he heard his name repeated again
and again by the speakers, the announcers and the crowd of the people who choose him, Farhad
Darya…..Farhad Darya…

He wanted to respond to the love that was bestowed upon him by the people. He said, "by honoring
me with this title, you have not just appreciated me, but have given respect and appreciation to the
music of Afghanistan". I am but just a reason, and then he sang. He sang with passion, it looked as
if the emotions and excitement of the crowd was flowing towards the stage and was being incorporated
in the music of Darya. The heartbeats of the crowd became his musical rhythm and he kept on singing.

In Afghanistan, everyone did not have the chance or means to listen to or play music. Outside
Afghanistan organized musical talent improvement and encouragement was rare. What was seen was
a handful of individual talents. The most effective talent search was the worldwide Afghan people
selection of favorite music artist on August 25, 2001 where Farhad Darya was once again chosen as
the musician of the year.

Even though Afghans rarely agree with each other, this was one instance that they came together
and selected their choice musician. Today, Darya is a musician that widely travels from one country
to next and from one continental to the other in search of Afghan music lovers. He is searching for
the heartbeat of the Afghan music lover in each and every city that he visits or lives in.

Whatever mistakes Afghans may have made, by choosing Darya the most favorite and talented signer
was not one of them.