Afghanistan’s only music school for girls is appealing for help to get its students out of the country safely following the Taliban takeover.
“Today our lives are in great danger because the success we have achieved in being part of the Afghan cultural scene has now marked us for persecution and even death by the Taliban,” said The Miraculous Love Kids, headed by American guitarist and teacher Lanny Cordola, a heartbreaking statement.
“Now, with the rapid takeover of Kabul by the Taliban, we are literally in hiding, with our older students particularly at risk. Our school is closed and many people who were supposed to protect us now see us as a bargaining chip to gain favor or even a bounty from the Taliban. As girls playing western music… we couldn’t be more at risk.
Launched in 2006 as a nonprofit initiative with just three students, the school grew during the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan to nearly 200 female students, all of whom learned reading, math and d other essential life skills that were previously not available to girls and women under the Sharia of the Taliban reign.
Over the years, they have worked and recorded with a multitude of famous musicians including Tom Morello, Brian Wilson, Blake Shelton, Sammy Hagar, Chad Kroeger, Nick Cave and others.
Now Cordola and his students are looking for a safe way to get to Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport, which was recently hit by a devastating terrorist attack that killed at least 95 people and injured 150 others, according to the BBC, as civilians rushed to flee the country.
“We call on the international community, diplomats, politicians, media and NGOs working to evacuate threatened civilians, to find a way to get us to safety on planes leaving Afghanistan. Time is imperative because the airlift must end, which would leave us here without hope, ”the group continued. “We pray that the international community does not abandon us to a fate that will almost surely be death. “
Cordola has currently been evacuated to Islamabad, Pakistan. He asks anyone with military or security contacts who could help secure a safe passage to the airport and seats on planes to contact at any time of the day or night by phone at + 1-562-209 -3769 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Update: August 30: Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine, who previously collaborated with The Miraculous Love Kids on their Girl with a Guitar program, wrote an open letter in hopes of raising awareness. It comes by Billboard, and you can check it below.
“I am writing on behalf of some very special girls in Afghanistan who are in grave danger,” Morello wrote. “[Girl with a Guitar] welcomes street orphans and other girls who have suffered significant trauma and uses music as a tool for rehabilitation and a way to overcome their problems, their stories and their hopes. I had the honor to collaborate with these wonderful children. Since the Taliban took control, their school has been destroyed and the girls are in hiding. They are at extreme risk as they are widely known to have played Western music and educated by an American teacher. Anything you could do to help save their lives would be greatly appreciated.