In a country with no television or Internet news, the Northern Alliance
decided this would be the quickest and most efficient way to let
the people know they were finally free of the rigid rule of the
The song was aired on Radio Afghanistan and across public address
systems, and it served as an immediate news flash to the people
As the eight-month anniversary of the liberation of Kabul by coalition
forces approaches on June 13, Darya, who has been in exile since
1990, remembers learning about his country's new freedom -- and
his role in that historic day.
Darya opened up hundreds of e-mails from people describing how people
in Kabul heard the voice of one of their favorite singers, and they
knew the Taliban were gone.
was a special moment for me," says Darya, "I can't explain
the feeling I had in that moment."
Darya's music, a mix of folk, pop and classical, was banned for
many years in Afghanistan.
"People had to listen to it underground," he says. "I've
heard from many people that they break the cover of the tape. They
put the tape inside, between, they stuck it inside the women's hair
to hide it from the authorities," relays Darya. Years of war
have made Afghans very canny.
An exile since 1990, Darya finds that his popularity extends beyond
borders -- to Europe, the U.S. and Canada -- wherever there are
other communities of exiles and émigrés from Afghanistan.
A recent Toronto appearance, part of a tour to raise funds for Afghan
children, brought out more than 2000 fans. The crowds were on their
feet as soon as Darya entered the ballroom. And to familiar tunes
like "Beloved Kabul," that's where they stayed for almost
the next three hours.
"Afghan people couldn't live without music," Darya remarks,
"like all other human beings Actress and journalist Niloufar
Pazira, born in Afghanistan and now living in Canada, has lived
the power of art. Pazira, who starred in last year's critically
acclaimed film Kandahar, thinks Darya's music has meaning for more
than just Afghans.
"Afghanistan is known as a political problem for the world,"
she says. "Not as a full country with human beings, with arts,
and music, and colors, and beauty. Artists like Farhad Darya can
help change that. With the music, now it will help give Afghanistan
a more human face."
"We are a very age-old culture," adds Darya. "We
are not only 23 years of war. And the world needs to know more and
more about our art, especially the music. We need to give the world
a new definition of Afghanistan."
On his current tour, Darya will be bringing that message to the
world. He's playing in Europe, the United States and, on June 29th,
in Montreal. The grand plan is to end the tour, and 12 years of
exile, with a series of concerts in Afghanistan.
"As soon as I get the chance to live and to perform as a free
human being and as a free musician, I will be there."
And Kabul will hear "Beloved Kabul" live, something that
would have been impossible less than a year ago.