2004 News


Kabul Would See it!
2004-05-11/ 03:52:19
Kabul, Afghanistan
By: Haseeb

For the very first time, a public concert featuring the most loved artist of Afghanistan, Farhad Darya (www.farhaddarya.info/) is to be held in the National Sports Stadium in Kabul.

We are attending it in a team, and we just bought the tickets. This would be the very first time me and many of my friends attend a concert.

It’s expected that around 10.000 people would attend the event. The tickets are relatively cheap, and that’s why everyone thinks it’s gonna attract a lot of people.

Yet, security is worrying issue, and everyone seems to be concerned about it. It’s the first event of such type, and no past experience means this is a test event.

No cameras allowed in. So, don't expect pictures form the event.

The Concert!
2004-05-15 / 03:27:41
Kabul, Afghanistan
By: Haseeb

To the surprise of many, Kabul's National Stadium was filled with 30000-35000 people, including large masses of families and ladies!

The concert was a symbol of change in this part of the world! Fun, Music and fear all mixed!

Security was an alarming issue, for there seemed that less measure had been taken to make sure no trouble happens! You can imagine, 12000 tickets were sold and 30000 people attended the event, means 2/3 of the audience came from other ways and without any ticket!

The stadium's fences were destroyed, as people jumped inside the ground from the stands to have a close view of the stage.

We , luckily went in to the family seats as we had three of our ladies friends (One from Germany, other from Norway and the other Afghan) with us but soon as the concert started the family seats were also filled with ordinary audiences and those who had no tickets(most of them).

To our pleasure, no disturbance occurred and the first ever event of such big an scale in 15 years, succeeded! And Kabul was rocked! The Artist Farhad Darya (www.farhaddarya.info) got an amazing welcome as it took him 30 minutes to get to stage through passing from the mass crowds!

We danced, sung and laughed but left the stadium an hour before the end of the concert for we were expecting trouble during the finishing stages as 30000 people all had to get out from only 2 doors.

Music Wafts Through Kabul Stadium Once Again
(AFP/ by Sardar Ahmad)

Lost in the crowd of tens of thousands of people at Kabul's stadium for a concert by famed Afghan singer Farhad Darya, Shamsullah whispers about how "things have changed very quickly" since he was last here two years ago to witness brutal Taleban justice.

"I can't believe it," he says. "Exactly in the same place two years ago I was witnessing a very sad incident -- a man, even if he was criminal, had his hand chopped," Shamsullah said.

"Look now, we have fun -- people are happy, they are dancing, we have a concert," the 45-year-old teacher said while accompanying two of his teenage sons to the concert on Thursday night.
The extremely popular singer Darya, who has lived in Europe and America since the early 1990s, played for more than two hours to a packed stadium in his first concert since returning to Kabul earlier this year.

Kabul stadium, once the only place where people could see soccer and other games, was turned into the site of public executions by the Taleban regime which ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001.

The Taleban, who enforced extremely conservative Islamic laws had banned music and all other types of entertainment.

Darya's show was the first major artistic performance at the stadium since the toppling of the hard-line militia by an American-led invasion in late 2001.

Fittingly, it was also Darya's Kabul Jan Salaam or My dear Kabul which was the first song to be played on Afghan radio following the fall of the Taleban.

"When I saw the people eagerly attending the concert I realized that our people, who were deprived of all kinds of entertainment, are thirsty for music," the singer told a post-concert press conference.

The concert was the first of a series that Darya hopes to eventually perform around the country to raise money to build a recording studio for Afghan singers who have suffered badly during the past two decades of war and conflict. However, the 44-year-old said security poses challenges in much of the war-wracked country and the plan has been delayed for the time being.

"We do plan to drag this programme to other provinces but we have to be careful to not risk our people's security," he said.

More than two years after the Taleban regime was smashed, most provinces suffer unrest caused by the remnants of the militia which oppose President Hamid Karzai's US-backed administration.

In recent months an acting troupe has been attacked during a performance in eastern Nangarhar province and the broadcasting of old videos of Afghan women singing on Kabul TV have prompted strong criticism from conservative circles.

Head of Kabul TV Azizullah Aryafar said Darya's decision to help fellow musicians was a positive step towards rebuilding the country's musical institutions.

"Not only war but also the emergence of new ideologies, the Taleban being the worst of them, killed music in Afghanistan," Aryafar said.

"I hope Darya's concert marks the start of other musicians coming to live in the country," he said, referring to the dozens of well-known Afghan singers living in exile.
Several female singers, who developed under the moderate ideology of the Communist regime, fled Afghanistan fearing for their lives when it came under the control of the Mujahedin and later Taleban fighters.

While a few female singers occasionally appear on television in the capital women singers are not allowed to be shown in other cities controlled by regional warlords, mainly Mujahedin leaders.

"I think it is too early," Aryafar said of female entertainers being shown widely.
Darya, who yesterday left Kabul for Washington D.C. where his wife Sultana and son Hejran live, said he will return with more singers "to give more joy and happiness to Afghans who were deprived under the Taleban."

As one concert-goer, who witnessed the execution at the stadium of a woman who murdered her husband, said: "That was the darkest period of our life under the Taleban -- but now it is over, you see we have music."


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