of a Nation:
to heal a war-torn nation
On November 13, after the fall of the Taliban, the first song to
be played on Radio Afghanistan was Beloved Kabul by Afghan singer
and musician Farhad Darya.
Yesterday, Darya sat in a lounge-room in Mulgrave and spoke of the
power of music, how he hopes it can unite the people of Afghanistan
after two decades of war and oppression.
"Music is the strongest weapon today in Afghanistan because
one can deliver a message as far as you want it to go," said
Darya, who has lived in exile in the United States since leaving
his homeland in 1990 under the Taliban, music was forbidden but
Darya said people still risked their lives to play his music.
He aims to break down the differences between Afghanistan's ethnic
groups by taking different regional sounds and songs and combining
them to make his own sound.
"My music doesn't belong to one side, I share my music with
all Afghans. Everyone shares through my music," he said.
Darya's mission is to tell the world about the Afghanistan that
existed before the past two decades of occupation and civil war.
"Today I travel around the world, day by day, city by city
and stage by stage to communicate to the world, to show the original
face of my people," he said.
"The world thinks of us in a weird way: killing, starving,
dying, and ashes, that's all they think of us."
Darya was born in 1962. During the first year of Soviet occupation
he used music as a form of resistance to the invasion.
"I decided to stand next to my people for their rights and
for their hopes. I decided to voice their words," he said.
He began to record patriotic Afghan folk songs and traditional music
and released more than 15 albums between 1980 and 1990. He has since
released 13 albums in exile.
Now on the Australian leg of his world tour, Darya will perform
at the Camberwell Civic Centre tonight. Money raised from the concert
will be donated to AUSTCARE's Afghan Emergency Appeal.
Darya is an admirer of Australia's Aboriginees music and the works
of John Williamson.
He hopes to return to Afghanistan in the near future but will wait
until the country stabilizes.
"I will return when I could stay there as a free human being
and as a musician. I'm needed there," he said.