As the first female singer to take to the stage in Afghanistan in more than a decade, Tajik singer Maniza Daulat performed for 1,500 male fans in Kabul.
Afghanistan’s host of female singers, most of whom live overseas, are still reluctant to take to the stage, especially for live concerts. Many have promised to perform but none have yet dared to.
The concert of one of the biggest female stars to ever visit Afghanistan was the first in a series planned for the capital and the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif. According to the news agency AFP, many said it showed Afghanistan was moving away from the its fundamentalist past, which included five years of Taliban rule where singing was declared a sin, and music and televisions were banned.
The concert took place under heavy security because of fears of attacks by insurgents. The area was cordoned off to vehicles and monitored by the police and fire brigade. Police and intelligence agents milled among the spectators. Despite the strict measures, the – entirely male – audience apparently went away impressed.
Tickets cost 2,000 afghanis (40 US dollars), almost equivalent of a month’s wage for government employees.
Online – International News Network / AFP – 22 January 2006: