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...a sweatshop of moxie

Monday, May 09, 2005

The Best Afghan Girl Rocker Band...Ever

Occasionally in life, you get blown away by an image which completely summarises everything you find wonderful, arcane, and hilarious all in one.

These are not moments to be missed, like Nikita Krushchev's shoe-banging on the UN podium.

Such was my reaction when I saw the photo below, which I'll take my time in showing you. But before, a little preamble to set the mood.

As we all know, the Taliban were a merry group of Commie/stroke/Infidel fighters back in the day, who stuck around Afghanistan after the showdown despite not being necessarily composed of Afghanis proper.

They wanted the world to be as it used to be, in the days of, oh I don't know, the Paleolithic Age? Anyway, one of those -ithic eras, when men were men and women were dinosaur bait.

So when a Texan named Georgie broke up their cosy setup, the more Neanderthal of the customs started to fall by the wayside -- but not all.

One doesn't undo two decades of enforcement of hundreds of years of local custom overnight, after all.

For anyone who has read Norwegian journalist Asne Seierstad's The Bookseller of Kabul, or the Afghani girl named Latifa's, My Fordbidden Face, you know this transition from the primeval to the primetime, ain't gonna be easy.

But a journey of a thousand miles is begun with one step, or in Burka Band's case, with one drum cord.

Though they've been around since 2003, it's only now that their hit-single has reached starry heights in the German Billboard.

It's all about 3 girls, 3 voices, and 3 dreams of being in a rock-and-roll band in Afghanistan, and brother, I don't know about you, but that's sweet music to me.

For those of you curious about how they sound, I have a treat in store for all. Here is an mp3 of their biggest hit:

Burka Blue

And as promised, here is the image that makes the Afghanistan Liberation completely worthwhile, if for nothing else than seeing this photo with your own two eyes:

Mick Jagger never looked so good

Come on. How cool is that?!


  • Frankly, I doubt the veracity of this image...

    Nice post.

    By Blogger Shirazi, at Sat May 14, 03:54:00 am GMT-4  

  • Wow! I never doubted it for a minute, Shirazi. But then, perhaps you can pick up certain cultural clues that I can't, I'm thinking.

    If you click on one of the links, you'll see the three band members against a rocky backdrop, all wearing the same royal blue burkas.

    That's why I never doubted it, you see.

    What is your gut feeling about it?


    By Blogger vbspurs, at Sat May 14, 01:52:00 pm GMT-4  

  • My gut feelings: these links are mostly made up. This is to exploit the cultural curiosity, for commercial purposes, of those who dont know the land. Now you have to believe this. Please. . .

    By Blogger Shirazi, at Sun May 15, 07:36:00 am GMT-4  

  • It's quite possible, but then again, the links are from Germany, and have been written up by several entities in Europe.

    Maybe if you were making the argument that they were from America, I might find it easier to believe they are made up (to shock, to mock, etc.)...but not Germany.

    I'll try to do a little investigating.


    By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon May 16, 03:50:00 am GMT-4  

  • I will wait. Thanks.

    By Blogger Shirazi, at Tue May 17, 03:12:00 am GMT-4  

  • I have it on good authority that Germany has been involved in several devious plots in the past :)

    By Blogger Jim, at Tue May 17, 07:02:00 pm GMT-4  

  • Since the number one growing University "specialisation" in Germany is "Arabic studies" -- in fact, Sven's sister is majoring in that, Jim -- you can imagine, I'd sooner believe this than not, coming from Germany.

    After all, Night of the Long Knives, jawohl.

    Night of the Long Burkhas, eh. :)

    Nothing yet, but then I haven't really searched, Shirazi.


    By Blogger vbspurs, at Sun May 22, 09:31:00 pm GMT-4  

  • Sorry for omitting to sign - I posted the above.

    By Anonymous Rodolfo Manygoats, at Mon Dec 19, 12:27:00 pm GMT-5  

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