Tuesday, August 04, 2015 Local time: 11:50


Top Stories


About Gandhara

Gandhara, an ancient region comprising parts of today's Afghanistan and Pakistan, inspires this page, which provides foreign policy audiences with reporting, analysis and commentary direct from our local correspondents in Afghanistan and Pakistan with the aim of promoting peace in the region. 
 

Interview

A Baluch separatist guerrilla keeps watch.

Balochistan Official Pursues Peace Talks To End Separatist Struggle

The most senior elected official in Pakistan's restive Balochistan Province is advocating peace negotiations to end a decade-old separatist insurgency. More


Multimedia

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hundreds More Evacuated In Pakistan Floodsi
X
03.08.2015
Evacuated villagers packed up their goods and salvaged what they could from soaked fields, as torrential flooding continued to ravage northwest Pakistan.
Video

Video Hundreds More Evacuated In Pakistan Floods

Evacuated villagers packed up their goods and salvaged what they could from soaked fields, as torrential flooding continued to ravage northwest Pakistan.
Video

Video Pakistanis Mourn Mullah Omar

Around a thousand people took part in funeral prayers in Peshawar, after the announcement of the death of Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar.
Video

Video Demolition Starts At Islamabad Shanty Town

Bulldozers began demolishing a shanty town in Islamabad that Pakistani authorities say is a base for Islamic militants. Police used tear gas and a water cannon on July 30 to force out residents, most of whom are Afghan refugees and internally displaced people from volatile areas of Pakistan.
Video

Video Car Bombing Targets Police Vehicle, Two Civilians Killed

Two people died and at least 11 were wounded when a car bomb blew up in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz on July 29. The bombing was apparently targeting police officers, who escaped unharmed.
Video

Video Pakistan Gives Refugees Two-Day Warning Before Home Demolition

Residents of a mud shantytown in Islamabad have received orders to leave their homes before their neighborhood is destroyed. The inhabitants, mostly Afghan refugees and displaced Pakistanis, say authorities believe the district is a hotbed of militancy.

Culture

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
  • Ahmad Sarmast is the head of Afghanistan's National Institute of Music. He survived a suicide attack at the French Cultural Center in Kabul last year. 
  • The institute ​instructs some 210 students from their first note through their graduation as seasoned musicians.
  • Negin Khalpak, 14, conducts around 35 students in the institute's orchestra.
  • The students can choose their own path -- either Western classical or Afghan traditional music. 
  • All the students receive full scholarships to attend the institute. After completing their studies, graduates are awarded internationally recognized music diplomas.
  • Former street children, orphans, and girls -- who face many obstacles in Afghanistan's patriarchal and culturally conservative society -- make up half of the student body.
  • Last year, the institute's orchestra performed a series of concerts in the United States, including at the prestigious John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington and Carnegie Hall in New York.
  • With donors' backing, the institute has been able to hire Western music teachers and provide state-of-the-art facilities, including soundproof classrooms and a modern library.
  • Sarmast is building a new concert venue that will be completed later this year as well as dormitories and rehearsal buildings for students. 

Afghanistan's Institute of Music

Music in Afghanistan is perhaps best known, particularly in the West, for falling silent under the Taliban. But since 2001, musicians within and outside the country have taken steps to revive Afghanistan's unique musical tradition. One of them is Ahmad Sarmast, who heads the National Institute of Music.

Related Multimedia

More

Informed Comment

Debating Room

A Pakistani policeman outside the office of international aid group Save the Children in Islamabad.

Pakistanis Criticize Government For Banning Aid Group

Pakistani activists and politicians have criticized Islamabad for preventing an international aid agency from working in impoverished restive provinces. More

More Articles

News

Press Room

June 05, 2015

Gandhara: Open Call for Article Submissions on Afghanistan, Pakistan

RFE/RL's Gandhara website is seeking submissions from outside writers and experts on the region to write opinion or analysis pieces geared toward a global policy audience.
More