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Kabul Korrespondence

Fresh, factual, and funky view of Afghanistan and the surrounding Central Asian region

Ag-Fair Rocks Kabul

Sunday, November 04, 2007

More than 170,000 Afghans packed into the country's first pop festival this week, in a gig that has been dubbed Glastonbury Afghanistan. A far cry from suicide bombs and house-to-house fighting, it was the Afghanistan's biggest recreational gathering since the fall of the Taliban almost six years ago, and like Glastonbury it shared an agricultural theme.


More than 170,000 Afghans packed into the country's first pop festival this week, in a gig that has been dubbed Glastonbury Afghanistan. A far cry from suicide bombs and house-to-house fighting, it was the Afghanistan's biggest recreational gathering since the fall of the Taliban almost six years ago, and like Glastonbury it shared an agricultural theme.


"I came to the fair because I love pop music," said Said Ahmed Rahik, a 17-year-old student from Kabul. "I'm not a farmer and I don't want to do farmer's work. My father told me not to come because he wants me to study all the time. But I came without permission, because there is nowhere else to see music like this in Kabul."


Headline acts, on the purpose built stage, included winners of Afghan Star, the country's fledgling imitation of Pop Idol, circus performers, stand-up comedians and traditional Afghan folk singers. Around the arena were dozens of stalls showcasing everything from live fish, from Jallalabad, carpets from Herat, and sweetcorn from Bolivia.
"Bolivian corn needs less water and grows 20cm bigger than Afghan corn," explained the farm manager Jawid Ahmad.


The Kabul festival, which ran from Wednesday to Friday passed off without incident – Organisers claimed the secret to
a peaceful festival there was feeding more than 300 policemen lunch.

posted by Travis, 9:46 pm

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