Over 100 musicians flee Afghanistan, head to Portugal amid fears of Taliban crackdown

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More than 100 college students, lecturers and alumni of the Afghanistan National Institute of Music have reportedly fled from Kabul following the Taliban’s takeover of the nation — and plan to settle in Portugal, the place they’ve been granted asylum.

The group, about half of which is ladies and women, arrived in Qatar’s capital, Doha, on Sunday and deliberate to proceed on to Portugal, the institute’s founder and director, Ahmad Sarmast, instructed the Associated Press from his house in Melbourne, Australia.

“You cannot imagine how happy I am. Yesterday I was crying for hours,” he stated, including that the success of their evacuation had been unsure till the final second.

Taliban militants on the Kabul airport questioned the evacuees’ visas earlier than Qatari embassy officers have been in a position to resolve the issue. The group was then instructed it couldn’t depart the nation with non permanent “service passports,” that are often issued to officers, based on Agence France-Presse.

“My understanding is that it was not so much of the type of the passports but that the girls were fleeing the country,” Sarmast instructed AFP.

Students play at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM) school of music in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Students play on the Afghanistan National Institute of Music in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Yaghobzadeh Alfred/Abaca/Sipa USA

But as soon as once more, the Qatari officers managed to barter the passage of the musicians, a lot of whom have been from the all-female Zohra orchestra.

“It was a time of many tears. I was crying endlessly. My family were crying together with me. That was the happiest moment in my entire life,” Sarmast stated. “The feeling and the happiness when I heard that their plane took off the ground is very hard to describe.”

The Taliban, who banned music throughout their brutal rule from 1996 to 2001, swept again to energy Aug. 15, promising a extra reasonable sort of rule this time. But they’ve made it clear they’ll run the nation throughout the restrictive limits of their interpretation of Sharia legislation.

Taliban fighter
The Taliban, who banned music throughout their brutal rule from 1996 to 2001, swept again to energy Aug. 15.
WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP through Getty Images

The musicians be a part of tens of hundreds of Afghans who’ve fled, together with the nation’s feminine robotics workforce — often called the “Afghan Dreamers” — and members of a women’ soccer workforce, who resettled in Mexico and Portugal, respectively.

Sarmast stated he hopes remaining college students and school members will likely be leaving on one other flight out later this month.

He plans to recreate the varsity in Portugal and is already on the lookout for methods to acquire musical devices for the evacuees as quickly as attainable.  

Afghanistan National Institute of Music
The group arrived in Qatar’s capital, Doha, on Sunday and deliberate to proceed on to Portugal.
AFGHANISTAN NATIONAL INSTITUTE O

“We want to preserve the musical tradition of Afghanistan outside of Afghanistan, so that we can be sure that one day when there are better conditions in the country, hundreds of professional musicians would be ready to return and relight the music,” he instructed the AP.

Members of the Zohra orchestra, an ensemble of 35 women, practice during a session at Afghanistan's National Institute of Music.
Members of the Zohra orchestra, an ensemble of 35 ladies, observe throughout a session at Afghanistan’s National Institute of Music.
REUTERS/Ahmad Masood/File Photo