On Aug. 15, the Taliban left a threatening letter on Ahmad Fanoos’ instrument case warning him and his household to cease taking part in music or else.
“All your loved ones members are busy with these soiled actions,” the letter learn. “We’re warning you for the final time to go away…”
Beneath Taliban rule, music was unlawful in Afghanistan within the late ’90s. Since then, Fanoos rose to fame taking part in the harmonium and singing Ghazal or Afghan epic poetry. As a expertise choose on the TV present “Afghan Star,” Fanoos grew to become a family title and a goal of the Taliban because it retook management of Afghanistan this summer season.
“It was very surprising for him,” Elham Fanoos, Ahmad’s 24-year-old son, stated of the Taliban letter. “He really couldn’t actually deal with the music anymore.”
A famend Afghan classical pianist in his personal proper, Elham moved to the USA to review in 2015 after his music faculty was bombed.
Determined to save lots of his father and remaining members of the family, Elham requested his sponsor, Lesley Rosenthal, COO of the Juilliard Faculty, for assist.
“I simply racked my brains attempting to assume how we may assist him,” Rosenthal stated.
Rosenthal found that Fox had a considerable shareholding in Moby Media Group – the tv station that aired “Afghan Star.”
She alerted Fox of the scenario and in lower than per week Fanoos and 5 of his members of the family had been evacuated on a aircraft alongside Fox personnel.
“We requested Fox if they may discover some extra seats on the aircraft for the entire household,” Rosenthal stated, “and certain sufficient, they introduced the entire household of six out into security, into freedom.”
Fanoos filmed the heart-racing escape from Afghanistan and turned it right into a music video that pays tribute to spiritual freedom, tolerance and private duty.
“It was very tough for us … it was very harmful,” Fanoos advised Fox Information. “There was a number of Taliban on the gate of the airport.”
Fanoos, his daughter, son-in-law and three grandchildren had been hosted in Qatar for the previous two months. They arrived within the U.S. on Oct. 29 and simply days earlier than Thanksgiving Ahmad and Elham had been collectively once more in New York for the primary time since 2016.
“We simply actually hope to signify Afghanistan and Afghan music,” Elham stated. “Afghan music is operating in my veins and it’s due to my dad.”
Earlier than leaving Afghanistan, Elham studied on the Afghanistan Nationwide Institute of Music based in 2010.
Elham says that with out the U.S. navy, music in Afghanistan would have perished.
“Don’t lose hope. You probably did loads,” Elham stated of American troopers who served in Afghanistan, a few of whom had been disheartened by the Taliban takeover. “With out them, I don’t assume we’d have been right here in the USA. I don’t assume we’d have been musicians.”
Father and son are actually on a mission to save lots of Afghan classical music and assist the sound evolve with Western influences.
“We’re attempting to point out that Afghan folks could make a Positive influence in American society,” Elham stated.
The Fanoos household believes so long as Afghan music is alive, so, too, is hope for a greater future for the war-torn nation.
“[The music] may be very needed for the Afghan folks,” Ahmad stated. “It is my life. My love. The music is my love.”