An international effort to protect all of Afghanistan's musicians in a time of crisis, along with their extraordinarily rich musical traditions, from the traditional rabab to the latest pop music.
Feed the Soul
Winter Benefit Concerts
for Afghanistan's Musicians
All proceeds go to providing life-saving aid to musicians and their families in Afghanistan this winter
The Scent of Kharabat
Ustad Asif Mahmoud
w/family and Guests
Saturday 11 December
3-4.30pm GMT Brunei Gallery, SOAS
University of London Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
The Scent of Kharabat: A Concert for Afghanistan
Temple Church, London
Tuesday 22 February
Tickets £10 - £30
Located at the Eurasian crossroads, Afghanistan has soaked in Central Asian, Indian, Persian and Turkic cultures with evidence of these influences sensed in the rich musical heritage. Interestingly, the Persian word for music is ‘musiqi’, derived from the Greek “mousike”.
The epicentre of musical creativity in Afghanistan has historically been the musicians’ Quarter in Kabul, Kucha-e Kharabat, where hereditary music practitioners have lived for generations. In the 1990s, with the ban on music and public performance by the Taliban, musicians from Kharabat around the country were forced to flee to Iran and Pakistan. Hereditary musicians such as Ustad Asif Mahmoud and his family — who now live in London — moved abroad, as Afghans tried to maintain their musical traditions in exile.
Unfortunately, history has repeated itself, and after 20 years of relative peace for musicians, the Taliban are back in force and pride — claiming the defeat of the West and their values. Once again, musicians are prime victims of the political unease.
Afghanistan's history is filled with excessive conflicts resulting in destruction, loss of life, damage to cultural heritage and, of course, the exodus of many people from their home country. However, as the great mystic poet of Balkh, Rumi, said: “Anyone who is separated from their roots, will pursue the path to be reunited” — these peoples of the arid Hindukush, with a great capacity for resilience, have always kept their heads up — defiant and raised. In Afghanistan we have an expression: “Taa risha dar aab ast, omid-e samar ast” — literally, “Until the roots are in the water, there is hope for fruit!”
In this concert, Ustad Asif Mahmud, his son Yusuf Mahmud, and his grandsons, bring to us with their performance the scent of Kharabat from Kabul to London.
- Mirwaiss Sidiqi, London 01 December 2021
Watch the full concert here!
Feed the Soul
Winter Benefit Concert
for fellow musicians in Afghanistan
Saturday 18 December
6.00pm - Interplay Theatre in Leeds
Armley Ridge Rd, Armley, Leeds LS12 3LE
6:30pm - 7:15pm
Ismail Hussain & Company - Islamic Nasheed
Ismail Hussain - main vocalist
Hussain Ali - harmonium
Faizan Ziyarat - vocalist
Zain Hassan - vocalist
Jawad Khan - daff
Nono Khan - dholki
Hossain Amir - saaz
7:25pm - 7:45pm
Sarah Yaseen - Sufi
7:50pm - 8:20pm
Stiofán Ó Treabhair - Irish vocals/guitar/bouzouki
8:25pm - 8:45pm
Kauser Mukhtar - poetry
8:50pm - 9:05pm
Kirtan Kaur Virdee - sitar & John Ball - tabla
9:10pm - 9:40pm
Satnam Galsian and John Hogg - Punjabi folk
9:45pm - 10:30pm
Qais Essar - rabab