“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.
Whether you’re someone who pays attention to the news or not, you are surely aware of the titanic struggles for freedom going on all over the world, from the United States to Libya, from Cairo to Kabul, from Saudi Arabia to Thailand. This weekend I’ve got a hip-hop song for you, from artist Brother Ali (whose story is quite interesting),
And it’s occurring with guitars, not guns. On October 1st, just yesterday, live rock music was played in an Afghani festival for the first time in my lifetime!
Sound Central, the Central Asian Modern Music Festival, started in mid-September and continues through October, is putting on live music concerts — with both local and international bands — in the countries of Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Pakistan and Iran.
Particularly in Afghanistan, where music was banned by the Taliban for years, this is perhaps the first time that people in their 20s (and younger) will have to see, hear and perform live music. The so-called stealth festival is leaving an impression on many.
“This is the first time I’m watching music live, the first time in Kabul we’ve had something like this,” says breathless 22 year-old Asil Ahmad. “Its one of the most unforgettable nights.”
With genres ranging from pop to punk to heavy metal to electronica to folk, knowing that this is going on in brand new places in the world, this project has got to be having a tremendous impact on everyone who gets to experience it.
Not merely playing music for a crowd, the festival also aims to increase music education, and to set up programs where youths can access and learn to play various instruments.
There is a plethora of information about this movement here, and knowing that this is going on in the world has certainly made my weekend a lot brighter.
So I’m happy I get to share it with you, and I hope it does the same for you!