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Dance in Afghanistan - suite

Unknwon: "Dance in Afghanistan - suite", TraditionandArt 062, p. 18, Athens, I.O.F.A., MarchApril 2002.From Los Angeles Times, 26 Feb. 2002


Dance in Afghanistan - suite

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - As three Afghan men swung their arms and swayed to music once banned by the Taliban, wide-eyed Afghans at a religious fete hosted by a regional warlord watched another landmark event unfold.

Among the 400 U.S. and Canadian guests of Kandahar Govερνορ Gul Agha Shirzai, three female American soldiers rose to mimic the dance, their M-4 rifles bouncing off their swinging hips- this in the conservative birthplace of the Taliban, where many women have yet to doff their head-to-toe burkas. In the back of the cavernous tent, 22-year-old Fazal Amad Karzai broke into a broad grin.

"I have never seen women dance", Karzai, who said he was a cousin of interim Prime Minister Hamid Karzai, explained in English. "I want to make my sister and my daughter to be free. I want to free my women. This is the happiest day of my life. I am almost crying."

The coed dance marked just one tradition cast aside for Sunday's event. The party, held in honor of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, featured a band brought in from Kabul, the capital, where Taliban structures against music were less stringently observed than here. Then there was the mingled celebration with "unbelievers", reviled as infidels by fundamentalists, on a Muslim holy day.

Los Angeles Times, 26 Feb. 2002



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