Kabul Dreams: Afghanistan's First Indie Rock Band

Garage rock bands are nothing special in most of the world, but the return of Afghanistan's first indie rock band shows just how far the country has gone since the days of the Taliban:

Less than a decade ago, when the Taliban ruled Afghanistan, a concert like this would have landed them in jail. Playing musical instruments was banned. Singing was allowed, but only songs praising Allah or the Taliban.

Today, Kabul Dreams, as the band is named, is paving the way for a very modest but growing local rock scene. About 100 Afghans and foreigners gather around a makeshift stage with improvised lighting and a sputtering sound system.

Baby-faced singer and guitarist Suleman Qardash repeatedly screams, "I wanna run away" -- the album's title track -- as drummer Mujtaba Habibi ramps up the beat.

While the lyrics resonate with an Afghan youth weary of suicide bombings and Taliban attacks, running away is the last thing on the band's mind. The trio returned to Afghanistan after temporary exile in Iran, Uzbekistan and Pakistan during Taliban rule.

http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20100711/FEATURES/7110302 | Kabul Dream's website and YouTube channel

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