Under the Taliban, the flourishing Afghan music scene falls silent | World

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) – A month after the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan, the music is calming down.

The last time the militant group ruled the country, in the late 1990s, they banned music altogether. So far this time, the government set up by the Taliban has not officially taken this step. But already, musicians fear a ban is coming, and some Taliban fighters on the ground have started enforcing the rules on their own, harassing musicians and concert halls.

Many wedding venues limit music at their gatherings. Musicians are afraid of performing. At least one reported that Taliban fighters at one of the many checkpoints around the capital smashed his instrument. Drivers silence their radios whenever they see a Taliban checkpoint.

In the alleys of Kharabat, a district of the old city of Kabul, families where music is a profession passed down from generation to generation are looking for ways to leave the country. The profession has already been hit hard by the collapse of the Afghan economy, as well as the coronavirus pandemic, and some families now too fearful to work are selling furniture to get by.

“The current situation is oppressive,” said Muzafar Bakhsh, a 21-year-old who has played in an alliance. His family had just sold some of their belongings at Kabul’s new flea market, Chaman-e-Hozari. “We keep selling them … so as not to starve,” said Bakhsh, whose late grandfather was Ustad Rahim Bakhsh, a famous ustad – or maestro – of classical Afghan music.

Under the Taliban, the flourishing Afghan music scene falls silent | World Source link Under the Taliban, the thriving Afghan music scene moves towards silence | World

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